Brazilian Forests Experience Species Loss

September 21, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. widespread (adj.) 
[wahyd-spred– happening over a wide area; far-reaching
Example: Reports suggest that widespread tree-cutting is the reason for the increase in floods.

2. local (n.) [loh-kuhl] – (usually locals) refers to people who live in a particular place.
Example: Tourists visiting a foreign place can get a lot of help from locals.

3. primary (adj.) [prahy-mer-ee, -muh-ree] – first in order;  most important
Example: One of the primary concerns of the government is wildlife protection.

4. endangerment (n.) [en-deyn-jeyr-muhnt] – the state of nearly being in danger of dying completely or no longer existing
Example: Animals facing endangerment are kept in wildlife protection facilities. 

5. isolate (v.) [ahy-suh-leyt] – to keep away or separate something from others
Example: They isolated the sick kitten from the healthy ones.

Read the text below.

A study done in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil reveals that there is a widespread loss of species in one of the world’s largest tropical forests.

Ecologist Carlos Peres from University of East Anglia in England and Gustavo Canale, a graduate student of the University of Cambridge, traveled around the forest from 2003 to 2005, and observed 200 of the largest and least environmentally damaged areas. The researchers set up cameras, interviewed locals and conducted surveys about wildlife in
order to gather data.
Out of the 18 species of mammals they were targeting to find, they only found four. Peres and Canale were surprised by the absence of jaguars, primates, deer and other species in healthy and protected parts of the forest.

The researchers believe the primary cause of species loss is hunting. Peres stated that Brazil’s laws seem to be protecting the forest well, but the laws are not protecting the forest’s wildlife. The two scientists called for changes in laws to prevent further endangerment to the wildlife found in these places.

According to Peres, five forest areas that had strict wildlife laws also had a higher population of wildlife.

Canale and Peres also said more areas in the forest should be protected. They suggest that animals be isolated from hunters and other dangers.

However, Peres warns that species loss is not only a problem in Brazil. This kind of widespread loss is happening around the world, particularly in places where animals are
being hunted.  

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think is the top reason why animals become endangered?
·         Can the law really help protect species that are in danger? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What is the importance of taking care of nature?
·         In what ways do you personally show your care or concern for nature or for the environment?

September 21, 2012