Reading, 14

You are going to read some information about some endangered species. For questions 22-33, choose from the species (A-F). Some of the species may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order. There is an example at the beginning (0). For questions 34 and 35, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.

Which endangered species:

has had its products replaced by other products?  0: B 

is sometimes killed for entertainment?  22: ____ 

is being threatened by nature itself?   23:____

is killed in order to cure humans?    24:_____

seems in less danger of disappearing than the others?  25: ____

are often caught by accident?   26: _____     27: _____ 

do not live on land? 28:_____     29:______

are eaten?      30: ______        31: ______

live in only one area of the world?   32: ______   33: _____

 34 What is the main aim of this text?

A to inform

B to frighten

C to entertain

D to sell

35 The World Wide Fund for Nature International must be

A an association for educating hunters.

B an institution for protesting.

C an organisation for protecting animals.

D a group for world peace.


World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF)

Tigers – A

The Tiger (Panthera tigris) is one of the cat Felidae family and lives only in Asia. Despite its wide range and adaptability, the tiger is severely threatened today. It is so dependent on cover that it cannot survive where people have cleared the land for agriculture.

The tiger is still widely hunted down, despite being legally protected in almost every country where it is found. In Chinese popular medicine, every part of a tiger’s body is valued and this has made hunting even more popular.

Three of the eight tiger subspecies have already been wiped out and a fourth is very near extinction. WWF is promoting projects to save these subspecies.

Whales- B

We know little about the earliest whales, but fossil remains and comparative anatomical studies indicate that they were probably descended from small, primitive, bear-like animals. Today’s whales have evolved into mammals which live in the water.

Commercial whalers have exploited almost every whale species, causing many populations to come close to extinction. As a result, international trade in whale products, once of enormous volume, has now ended. Both natural and synthetic substitutes are available for all whale products and are competitively priced.

At the annual meeting in 1982, after many years of debate, the IWC (International Whaling Commission) voted to ban all commercial whaling for an indefinite period from 1986.

Elephants – C

The elephants we see today have been on the scene for some five million years. They are the only survivors of a once wide-spread group of animals with trunks, the Proboscidae, which produced more than 300 different species over a span of 50 million years.

At present, all international trade in elephant products, including ivory, is not permitted because all elephant populations are listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which prohibits all trade in elephant products such as meat and hides. The Asian elephant has been on this list since 1975. The African elephant was placed on Appendix I in 1990.

Giant Panda – D

In prehistoric times, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) was wide-spread in China. Today it is estimated that only 1,000 of these black-and-white bear-like animals remain, all living in the bamboo forests of southwestern China.

The main threats to the panda are destruction of its habitat and deliberate poaching for export of skins. Suitable habitat for the animals has shrunk by about 50 per cent in the last 15 years. Accidental snaring in traps set for other animals is also a major threat.

Another problem is bamboo flowering. It takes the bamboo plant about one year to regenerate from seed but it can take up to 20 years before it can support a panda population.

In total, WWF has spent SFr8 million on conservation in China.

Foxes and Wolves – E

Foxes and wolves belong to the Canidae, or wild dog, family.

Of the 14 fox subspecies, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most wide-spread.

Though the red fox is heavily hunted and trapped for its fur, populations have remained the same.

The coyote or prairie wolf (Canis latrans) is found throughout the United States, southern Canada, and northern Central America. The population is large and increasing even though people hunt it for fur, sport, and to reduce loss of livestock and poultry.

WWF and mCN (the World Conservation Union’s Canid Specialist Group) both believe that most species require legally enforced protection measures. It is also necessary to protect their natural habitat and to increase the public’s awareness of the problems confronting these animals.

Dolphins and Porpoises – F

Dolphins and porpoises are marine mammals belonging to the cetacean family which also includes whales. They are found in oceans, estuaries and rivers.

One of the threats facing dolphins and porpoises is hunting. As human populations have grown, more indigenous people fish in order to feed their families. More aggressive fishing methods have also been developed, such as the use of rifles.

Other serious threats include water pollution, destruction and fragmentation of habitat through such activities as dam building, and general disturbance by humans which reduce food supplies.

The largest catches of cetaceans, however, occur by chance while people are trying to catch other fish. Concern about this type of incidental catch led to the 1989 UN General Assembly adopting a resolution that called for the end of large-scale driftnet fishing by 30 June 1992.

Check your answers here


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