Adults|Spoken|Intermediate|6. The environment: who cares?

What country are the things in the picture from? Why are they special? Is it important to take care about the environment in the place where you live?

The Amur Leopard — The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a 🔗leopard subspecies native to the 🔗Primorye region of southeastern 🔗Russia and the 🔗Jilin Province of northeast 🔗China. It is classified as 🔗Critically Endangered since 1996 by 🔗IUCN. In 2007, only 19–26 wild Amur leopards were estimated to survive.

Losiny Ostrov National Park — is the first 🔗national park of 🔗Russia. It is located in 🔗Moscow and 🔗Moscow Oblast and is the third largest 🔗forest in a city of comparable size, after Table Mountain National Park (🔗Cape Town) and Pedra Branca State Park (🔗Rio de Janeiro).

Turkish HazelCorylus colurna (Turkish hazel or Turkish filbert) is a deciduous 🔗tree 🔗native to southeast Europe and southwest Asia, from the Balkans through northern Turkey to northern Iran. It is the largest species of 🔗hazel, 🔗reaching 25 m (82 ft) tall, with a stout trunk up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) in diameter.


leopard — [ˈle-pərd] — a large brownish-yellow cat with black spots that lives in Asia and Africa

hazel — [ˈheɪzəl] — a kind of bush or small tree that produces nuts

birch — [ˈbɜːtʃ] — a type of tree that has outer bark which can be pulled off easily

lynx — [ˈliŋ(k)s] — a large wild cat from North America


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The Amur Leopard

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Losiny Ostrov National Park

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Turkish Hazel

Tick the words appropriate to the heading

Is fauna [ˈfɔːnə] important for the environment? Why?

How many species of animals are there in the world? How can they be classified? Complete the text with the words from the box and let’s check your answer.

invertebrate — a living creature that does not have a backbone

vertebrate — a living creature that has a backbone

carnivore — an animal that eats meat

herbivore — an animal that only eats plants

omnivore — an animal that eats both meat and plants

predator — an animal that kills and eats other animals

newt — a small animal with a long body, short legs, and a tail, which lives partly in water and partly on land


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Сomplete the text with the appropriate words


Choose an animal and describe it with the words from the box.

Example: A frog is an amphibian.

Which of the animals should be protected? Why?

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Read the text and choose the best summary of the writer’s view of the environment

conservation — the protection of natural things such as animals, plants, forests etc, to prevent them being spoiled or destroyed


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Dear Sir

I follow your environmental news section with interest. However, as a result of a number of recent stories, I believe that we have begun to take conservation too seriously.
You report that almost 1,000 trees have been cut down in the north of England to create a nature reserve for a tiny snail. Is this sensible? The snail was last seen seven years ago and nobody has seen one since. For all we know, it might already be extinct and 1,000 trees have been cut down for no reason at all.
The world’s smallest lizard, measuring 2 cm from nose to tail, has just been discovered in the Dominican Republic and immediately placed on the list of endangered species. Why? A week ago we didn’t even know it existed. Why should we suddenly care so much about it now?
At Worthing, on the south coast of England, work has stopped on a sea wall in order to protect the habitat of a rare flower, which was being disturbed by the building work. How much will the people who live there be disturbed if the sea breaks through the sea wall, damaging property and possibly taking lives?
Yes, the environment is important — but more important is human progress, the lives of other species, and a sense of perspective.

Yours faithfully,

Reginald Wells


Dear Sir

I follow your environmental news section with interest. However, as a result of a number of recent stories, I believe that we have begun to take conservation too seriously.
You report that almost 1,000 trees have been cut down in the north of England to create a nature reserve for a tiny snail. Is this sensible? The snail was last seen seven years ago and nobody has seen one since. For all we know, it might already be extinct and 1,000 trees have been cut down for no reason at all.
The world’s smallest lizard, measuring 2 cm from nose to tail, has just been discovered in the Dominican Republic and immediately placed on the list of endangered species. Why? A week ago we didn’t even know it existed. Why should we suddenly care so much about it now?
At Worthing, on the south coast of England, work has stopped on a sea wall in order to protect the habitat of a rare flower, which was being disturbed by the building work. How much will the people who live there be disturbed if the sea breaks through the sea wall, damaging property and possibly taking lives?
Yes, the environment is important — but more important is human progress, the lives of other species, and a sense of perspective.

Yours faithfully,

Reginald Wells


Read the text again and answer the questions

1. What three conservation issues does the writer mention?

2. What has been done in each case?

3. How does the writer feel about each issue?

You report that almost 1,000 trees have been cut down in the north of England to create a nature reserve for a tiny snail. Is this sensible? The snail was last seen seven years ago and nobody has seen one since. For all we know, it might already be extinct and 1,000 trees have been cut down for no reason at all.

a know-all — a person who pretends or appears to know a great deal


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Complete the sentences with the expressions

In the photo you see my friend Bill. He is a know-all. Read what he says about the nature. Do you agree?

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Useful language

  • You know as well as I do that…
  • I don’t know the meaning of the word, but…
  • I mean, you never know…
  • For all we know,…

Tick the statements which you agree with

What do you know about the items in the pictures? Which three would we save? What are your reasons? Let’s discuss this.

The Sicilian fir tree is a fir native to the 🔗Nebrodi and 🔗Madonie mountains in northern 🔗Sicily. It is a medium-size 🔗evergreen coniferous 🔗tree growing to 15–25 m tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m. It occurs at altitudes of 1400–1,600 m. As a result of 🔗deforestation, it is now extremely rare, with only 21 mature trees surviving.

The giant panda is a 🔗conservation reliant 🔗endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. As of December 2014, 49 giant pandas live in captivity outside China, living in 18 zoos in 13 different countries.

The Sentani rainbowfish (Chilatherina sentaniensis) is a 🔗critically endangered species of 🔗fish in the 🔗Melanotaeniidae family. It is 🔗endemic to 🔗West Papua in 🔗Indonesia, where restricted to 🔗Lake Sentani (about 10 km west of 🔗Jayapura City) and its tributaries.

The Chinese alligator is a class one endangered species and listed as a 🔗CITES Appendix I species, which puts extreme restrictions on its trade and exportation throughout the world. The 2009 🔗IUCN Red List has the alligator listed as a 🔗critically endangered species. To make that list, the species must have a decline of greater than 80% of the species population in a certain area of occupancy.

The bowhead was an early 🔗whaling target. Its population was severely reduced before a 1966 🔗moratorium. Its population has since recovered and is now rated «Least Concern».


Useful language

Interruption

  • Pardon me for interrupting, but…
  • If I might come in here…

After interruption

  • Getting back to…
  • As I was saying before…

To your opponent

  • As you were saying…
  • Please, go on…

Choose only three items to protect from the list

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Think of ideas for your letter. Read the description of the situation, plan and the words.

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You live in a city next to the park. Some of the trees are going to be cut down because there is no enough sunshine for a plant which is threatened with extinction. You are against (for).

  1. The diversity of flora and fauna in your region.
  2. Why the park is so important for you.
  3. Why it is sensible (not sensible) to cut down some trees.

Wordlist

Wordlist|Spoken|Int|L6


Write a letter to a local newspaper

Instructions

  1. Read the topic and the questions carefully.
  2. Plan what you are going to write about.
  3. Write at least 3 paragraphs: introduction, main body and conclusion.
  4. Check your essay before sending it for revision.

Урок Homework Курс
  • The Red List
  • The diversity
  • A letter to a newspaper
  • A know-all
  • Discussion
  • Three items to protect
  • A sensible decision?

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