Amphibian decline serves as global warning - PAU Madrid 2005

>Exámenes selectividad inglés resueltos C. Madrid

Nearly one in three species of frogs and toads in the world is under threat of extinction, according to the most comprehensive global study of amphibians ever conducted. The report shows that 122 amphibian species have disappeared since 1980. The discovery, reported in the journal Science, is seen by researchers as an early warning of imminent environmental disaster.
Amphibians act like "natural barometers" since their highly permeable skin makes them very sensitive to the effects of climate change and pollution. Any drastic change in the natural world is likely to affect them first. Over the past three years, scientists analysed the distribution and conservation status of all 5,743 known amphibian species. Of these, 1,856 - 32 per cent- were threatened with extinction. In comparison, only 12 per cent of bird species and 23 per cent of all mammal species are considered to be endangered. The president of Conservation International, who co-led the research, said: "Amphibians are one of nature's best indicators of overall environmental health. Their catastrophic decline serves as a warning that we are in a period of significant environmental degradation."
Amphibians were the first terrestrial vertebrates to colonise the land successfully about 350 million years ago. They have developed a remarkable diversity by adapting to many different aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Amphibians are present today in every continent except Antarctica, and can be found in almost all habitat types from dry, inhospitable deserts to lush tropical rainforests and temperate climates such as Britain's.



1. Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a. Researchers consider that the disappearance of amphibians is a sign of ecological catastrophe in the near future.
b. The number of endangered birds is greater than that of amphibians.

2. In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions.
a. Why does any climate change affect amphibians before birds or mammals?
b. Where do amphibians live and why do they live there?


3. Find the words in the text that mean.

4. Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
  • a. If human interference continues (continue) to alter the composition of the atmosphere, average temperatures will rise (rise) more than 3°C in the next 100 years.
  • b. Greenpeace was created / has been created (create) to fight environmental disaster. This organization is especially interested in protecting (protect) our environment.
  • c. Air pollution caused (cause) more than one hundred thousand deaths last year. Some experts believe that it is the most important (important) health problem in the industrial world.
  • d. We should avoid polluting (pollute) our planet in order to protect it for our children.


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