Wildlife hit hard in Kansas as rivers flow only a trickle

Wichita EagleJuly 21, 2011 

Don Distler, a biologist, has gotten only one mosquito bite this summer. Other years "I'd be covered with them," he said. "I couldn't sit out at night."

But the reason for his mosquito-free summer isn't bug spray.

It's drought.

Distler, who manages Wichita State University's biology field station, about 35 miles southwest of Wichita on the Ninnescah River, said he has never seen the river this low in the nearly 30 years he has run the center. He described the river more as sand bars than a flow of water.

Distler also hasn't heard a bullfrog, seen a toad or suffered from multiple tick and chigger bites. Due to low water levels, the fish stay in pools, where birds can trap and eat them, like cats with a goldfish bowl, he said.

"It's too dry for everything — from the little things to the big things, which eat the little things," he said. "The whole food chain is in sort of an 'on-hold' position."

Read the complete story at kansas.com

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