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Experts express concerns for animal safety as heat waves continue to rip through the Pacific Northwest

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Extreme heat, coupled with drier conditions, can significantly alter animals’ habitats. Drier winters can weaken plants and their leaves, diminishing potential food sources for wildlife. The shrubsteppe, a parched ecosystem located in eastern Washington, is an essential habitat for much of the fauna in the state. However, under the strain of development and climate change, an estimated 80 percent of the historic shrubsteppe has been lost, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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