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    Posted July 22, 2012 by
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Heat and droughts strike U.S.

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    Midwest drought worsens


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mgerringer is a graduate student studying wildlife biology. He was visiting Terre Haute, Indiana, where the lake at the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area is suffering from receding water levels. He explains that the lake is a flood plain wetland that is often inundated by flood water from the Wabash River. He says that many lakes do typically dry up to some degree because of the summer, but this lake normally stays full.

    With intense heat and little rainfall, he says currently the drought conditions in Terre Haute are extreme. These extreme conditions are evident with the dried lake and the decaying fish within it, he points out. He says as an avid bird watcher, he sees a lot of repercussion with the dried up lake. ‘It is a big disappointment. This lake attracts an impressive variety of birds and other wildlife... but when I walked out into the lake bed the only bird species I saw were a pair of turkey vultures overhead and a few Red-headed Woodpeckers,' he says.

    Seeing the lake dried up to this degree almost seemed surreal to him. 'The dry and cracked lake bed resembled another planet,' he says.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    A historic drought is taking its toll on wildlife and agriculture across the nation's heartland. In Terre Haute, Indiana, corn crops are withering, wildlife are suffering as important wetland habitat is drying up, and low water levels and burn bans are putting a damper on summer recreation.

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