The Reading / Listening - Ravens and Tortoises - Level 4

Drones are helping tortoises survive in the USA's Mojave Desert. Tortoises there are under threat from ravens. The raven population in the Mojave has increased by 700 per cent in 25 years. This has been a disaster for the desert tortoises. A local conservationist said that in some places where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000. They could completely wipe out the tortoises, whose numbers have fallen by over 90 per cent since 1990.



Technology may rescue the tortoises. Biologists have a plan to reduce the raven population, using drones and a technique called "egg oiling". This involves drones removing fertilized eggs from raven nests, coating the eggs in corn oil, and then replacing them. The oil blocks the egg's oxygen and so ends the life of the embryo inside. A biologist said: "If ravens figure out that their eggs are rotten, they are likely to...nest someplace else."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Ravens and Tortoises - Level 5 or  Ravens and Tortoises - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.huffpost.com/entry/drones-ravens-baby-tortoises-california_n_5cfda2b5e4b0aab91c081d60
  • https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-raven-killing-drone-protects-desert-tortoises-20190609-story.html
  • https://www.thedailybeast.com/california-biologists-deploy-drones-to-battle-raven-population-explosion-threatening-desert-tortoises


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Drones are helping tortoises
  2. Tortoises there are under
  3. The raven
  4. This has been a
  5. A local
  6. in some places where there
  7. They could completely wipe
  8. numbers have fallen by
  1. population
  2. out the tortoises
  3. conservationist
  4. over 90 per cent
  5. used to be 10
  6. threat from ravens
  7. survive
  8. disaster

Paragraph 2

  1. Technology may rescue
  2. reduce the raven
  3. removing fertilized eggs
  4. coating the eggs
  5. The oil blocks
  6. ends the life of the
  7. ravens figure out that their
  8. likely to nest someplace
  1. eggs are rotten
  2. in corn oil
  3. else
  4. population
  5. embryo
  6. the tortoises
  7. the egg's oxygen
  8. from raven nests

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Drones are helping tortoises (1) ___________________ USA's Mojave Desert. Tortoises there (2) ___________________ from ravens. The raven population in the Mojave (3) ___________________ 700 per cent in 25 years. This has been (4) ___________________ the desert tortoises. A local conservationist said that (5) ___________________ where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000. They could completely wipe out the tortoises, whose numbers (6) ___________________ over 90 per cent since 1990.

Technology (7) ___________________ tortoises. Biologists have a plan to reduce the raven population, using drones (8) ___________________ called "egg oiling". This involves drones removing (9) ___________________ raven nests, coating the eggs in corn oil, and (10) ___________________. The oil blocks the egg's oxygen and so ends the life (11) ___________________ inside. A biologist said: "If ravens figure out that their eggs are rotten, they (12) ___________________...nest someplace else."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

DronesarehelpingtortoisessurviveintheUSA'sMojaveDesert.Tortois
esthereareunderthreatfromravens.TheravenpopulationintheMojav
ehasincreasedby700percentin25years.Thishasbeenadisasterforthe
deserttortoises.Alocalconservationistsaidthatinsomeplaceswhereth
ereusedtobe10ravens,therearenow15,000.Theycouldcompletelywi
peoutthetortoises,whosenumbershavefallenbyover90percentsince
1990.Technologymayrescuethetortoises.Biologistshaveaplantored
ucetheravenpopulation,usingdronesandatechniquecalled"eggoiling
".Thisinvolvesdronesremovingfertilizedeggsfromravennests,coatin
gtheeggsincornoil,andthenreplacingthem.Theoilblockstheegg'soxy
genandsoendsthelifeoftheembryoinside.Abiologistsaid:"Ifravensfig
ureoutthattheireggsarerotten,theyarelikelytonestsomeplaceelse."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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