South American wild cats find hope in a test tube- PAU Madrid 2006

>Exámenes selectividad inglés resueltos C. Madrid

South American wild cats find hope in a test tubeSince time immemorial felines have been venerated in America, North and South. Their shapes appear engraved on ancient artifacts and in the form of modem statues. But in the last century, jaguars, pumas and other American felines have declined alarmingly in number. So much so, that they may become extinct. As a result, researchers in Spain and Argentina have embarked on a project for the preservation of ten feline species in Latin America. For the next three years, they will be working on the creation of two genetic banks one in Madrid and the other in Buenos Aires, to keep away the threat that looms over these animals.
This threat comes from human activity. Since 1920, the population of Latin America has tripled to 480 million people. A quarter of the forest area has disappeared, and activities such as hunting, fishing, mining and farming intensify human impact on the environment, so that the natural habitat of these species has been hugely reduced. The reduction of the habitat reduces the population.
So far, the problem has been addressed by introducing new animals into each region, with problems of transport and adaptation leading to poor chances of success. Now, the plan is to apply assisted reproduction techniques, fertilizing females with semen from males from other regions, including various zoos in Argentina and Spain. Scientists hope that, a few decades into the future, the words jaguar or puma may be more than mere names and memories.



1. Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a. Some types of wild animals were important in Latin American cultures.
b. The assisted reproduction project is the first attempt to save felines in Latin America.
2. In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions.
a. Why has the number of felines in South America fallen recently?
b. How do Spanish and Argentine scientists plan to help endangered felines?



3. Find the words in the text that mean:
  • a. decreased (paragraph 1): declined
  • b. possible danger (paragraph 1): threat
  • c. agriculture (paragraph 2): farming
  • d. until now (paragraph 3): so far
4. Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
  • a. If we want wild cats to be reproduced, we must/have to/should/ought to/need to protect their environment.
  • b. We had better stop using the world's natural resources carelessly (careless).
  • c. The populations of many animal species are too small for them to survive: soon they will become extinct.
  • d. Complete the following sentence to report what a journalist asked researchers about the project: "When did you begin your new wild cat project?" 


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