LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - This summer's hot, dry weather is having an impact not only on crops but also on wildlife - and the magnitude of the effects is uncertain.
Some classes of animal, such as birds, may have difficulty finding shelter this winter, while others, such as pollinating insects, are currently struggling to find food sources.
"Water is such a basic need for everything. Plants, fish, wildlife - all those things are going to be affected," said Chad Morrow, conservation officer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for Plymouth County.
"When we have such a severe drought like we've had, it really takes a toll on everything," Morrow said.
Morrow said some effects of the drought could mean more diseases, fewer food sources and less natural habitat for shelter.
For example, conservation officers have seen reports of an increase in deer of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, which is spread by tiny flies called biting midges, Morrow said.