The Reading / Listening - Ravens and Tortoises - Level 6

High-tech drones are flying to the defence of tortoises in California's Mojave Desert. The desert tortoises in the western Mojave are under threat of being wiped out by ravens. The raven is a larger version of the crow. Its population in the Mojave has increased by more than 700 per cent in the past 25 years and this is having a catastrophic impact on the desert tortoises. Allison Fedrick, a local conservationist, observed that in some places, "where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000". Ms Fedrick noted that if nothing was done to help the tortoises, they would be completely wiped out. Their numbers have plummeted by more than 90 per cent since 1990.



Technology is coming to the rescue of the tortoises. A team of biologists and drone operators has come up with a strategy to reduce the raven population. They are using drones and the use of the method of "egg oiling". This involves flying drones up to the ravens' nests, removing fertilized eggs, coating them with a film of corn oil, and then replacing them. The oil blocks oxygen from entering the egg, effectively ending the life of the embryo inside. Biologist Mercy Vaughn said: "If ravens figure out that their eggs are rotten, they are likely to eat them and nest someplace else." Conservationist John Griffin said oiling was justified as "part of a comprehensive approach that...addresses all other factors".

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Ravens and Tortoises - Level 4  or  Ravens and Tortoises - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. TORTOISES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about tortoises. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       high-tech / drones / desert / tortoise / raven / catastrophic / conservationist / help /
       technology / biologist / strategy / nests / corn oil / embryo / eggs / comprehensive
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. SPECIES CONTROL: Students A strongly believe controlling the numbers of one species to help the survival of another is essential; Students B strongly believe the opposite - all species should be left alone.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. CATASTROPHIC IMPACT: How can we reverse the catastrophic impact done to creatures from these things? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Damage Done

How To Reverse This

Plastic

 

 

Logging

 

 

Invasive species

 

 

Hunting

 

 

Fur trade

 

 

Overfishing

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. DESERT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "desert". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. HELPING ANIMALS: Rank these with your partner. Put the best ways to help animals at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Avoid plastics
  • Use cruelty-free cosmetics
  • Donate to the WWF
  • Adopt a shelter animal
  • Don't eat meat
  • Sign an anti-fur petition
  • Feed bees
  • Become an animal rescuer

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. defence a. Eliminated or killed something completely.
      2. threat b. A means of protecting something from attack.
      3. wiped out c. A particular form of something differing in certain respects from another form.
      4. version d. Involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering.
      5. catastrophic e. A person or thing likely to cause damage or danger.
      6. conservationist f. Fell or dropped straight down at high speed; decreased rapidly in value or amount.
      7. plummeted g. A person who protects and preserves the environment and wildlife.

    Paragraph 2

      8. rescue h. An expert in or student of the branch of science concerning living organisms.
      9. biologists i. A thin layer covering a surface.
      10. fertilized j. Save someone from a dangerous or distressing situation.
      11. coating k. Caused an egg, female animal, or plant to develop a new life form.
      12. film l. An unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development into a baby.
      13. embryo m. A thin layer or covering of something.
      14. addresses n. Thinks about and begin to deal with an issue or problem.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. High-tech drones are flying tortoises away from ravens in the desert.     T / F
  2. The tortoise population in the Mojave Desert had increased by 700%.     T / F
  3. In one place, raven numbers increased from 10 to 15,000.     T / F
  4. Tortoise numbers in the western Mojave dropped by 10% since 1990.    T / F
  5. Botanists and drone operators came up with a strategy.     T / F
  6. Conservationists are covering raven eggs in oil.     T / F
  7. Ravens are likely to eat their own eggs if they become rotten.     T / F
  8. If eggs are rotten, ravens are likely to nest elsewhere.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. under threat
  2. wiped out
  3. catastrophic
  4. observed
  5. plummeted
  6. strategy
  7. use
  8. coating
  9. figure out
  10. comprehensive
  1. plunged
  2. noted
  3. all-inclusive
  4. in danger
  5. covering
  6. comprehend
  7. policy
  8. eradicated
  9. application
  10. disastrous

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. tortoises in the western Mojave are under
  2. The raven is a larger version
  3. Its population in the Mojave has increased
  4. a local
  5. Their numbers have plummeted by
  6. Technology is coming to the
  7. ending the life of the
  8. If ravens figure out that their eggs
  9. nest someplace
  10. part of a comprehensive
  1. are rotten
  2. more than 90 per cent
  3. conservationist
  4. else
  5. of the crow
  6. approach
  7. threat of being wiped out
  8. embryo inside
  9. rescue of the tortoises
  10. by more than 700%

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
version
impact
noted
defence
wiped
past
threat
local

High-tech drones are flying to the (1) ____________ of tortoises in California's Mojave Desert. The desert tortoises in the western Mojave are under (2) ____________ of being wiped out by ravens. The raven is a larger (3) ____________ of the crow. Its population in the Mojave has increased by more than 700 per cent in the (4) ____________ 25 years and this is having a catastrophic (5) ____________ on the desert tortoises. Allison Fedrick, a (6) ____________ conservationist, observed that in some places, "where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000". Ms Fedrick (7) ____________ that if nothing was done to help the tortoises, they would be completely (8) ____________ out. Their numbers have plummeted by more than 90 per cent since 1990.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
figure
coating
strategy
addresses
rescue
rotten
embryo
method

Technology is coming to the (9) ____________ of the tortoises. A team of biologists and drone operators has come up with a (10) ____________ to reduce the raven population. They are using drones and the use of the (11) ____________ of "egg oiling". This involves flying drones up to the ravens' nests, removing fertilized eggs, (12) ____________ them with a film of corn oil, and then replacing them. The oil blocks oxygen from entering the egg, effectively ending the life of the (13) ____________ inside. Biologist Mercy Vaughn said: "If ravens (14) ____________ out that their eggs are (15) ____________, they are likely to eat them and nest someplace else." Conservationist John Griffin said oiling was justified as "part of a comprehensive approach that... (16) ____________ all other factors".

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  High-tech drones are flying to the ______
     a.  difference of tortoises
     b.  differences of tortoises
     c.  defence of tortoises
     d.  deference of tortoises
2)  The desert tortoises in the western Mojave ______
     a.  are under threat
     b.  are over threat
     c.  are nearly threat
     d.  are ending threat
3) more than 700 per cent in the past 25 years and this is having a ______
     a.  catastrophe impact
     b.  catastrophically impact
     c.  catastrophic impact
     d.  catastrophic impacted
4)  if nothing was done to help the tortoises, they would be completely ______
     a.  whipped out
     b.  wiped out
     c.  swiped out
     d.  wipe it out
5)  Their numbers have plummeted by more than 90 per cent ______
     a.  stance 1990
     b.  since 1990
     c.  sins 1990
     d.  stinks 1990

6)  A team of biologists and drone operators has ______ a strategy
     a.  come up with
     b.  come up within
     c.  comeuppance with
     d.  come upper with
7) up to the ravens' nests, removing fertilized eggs, coating them with ______ corn oil
     a.  a films of
     b.  a firm of
     c.  affirm of
     d.  a film of
8)  blocks oxygen from entering the egg, effectively ending the life of ______
     a.  the embryo inside
     b.  the imbroglio inside
     c.  the embargo inside
     d.  the lumbago inside
9)  If ravens figure out that their eggs are rotten, they are ______ them
     a.  likely to eat
     b.  lichen to eat
     c.  likelihood to eat
     d.  lively to eat
10)  justified as part of a comprehensive approach that ______ factors
     a.  address is all other
     b.  add dresses all other
     c.  add dress is all other
     d.  addresses all other

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

High-tech drones (1) ___________________ the defence of tortoises in California's Mojave Desert. The desert tortoises in the western Mojave are under threat of being (2) ___________________ ravens. The raven is a larger version of the crow. Its population in the Mojave (3) ___________________ more than 700 per cent in the past 25 years and this is having a catastrophic (4) ___________________ desert tortoises. Allison Fedrick, a local conservationist, observed that in some places, "where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000". Ms Fedrick noted that if nothing was done to help the tortoises, they would (5) ___________________ out. Their numbers have (6) ___________________ than 90 per cent since 1990.

Technology is coming to (7) ___________________ the tortoises. A team of biologists and drone operators has come up with a (8) ___________________ the raven population. They are using drones and the use of the method of "egg oiling". (9) ___________________ drones up to the ravens' nests, removing fertilized eggs, coating them with a film of corn oil, and then replacing them. The (10) ___________________ from entering the egg, effectively ending the life of the embryo inside. Biologist Mercy Vaughn said: "If ravens (11) ___________________ their eggs are rotten, they are likely to eat them and nest someplace else." Conservationist John Griffin said oiling was justified as "part of a comprehensive approach that... (12) ___________________ factors".

Comprehension questions

  1. In which part of the Mojave Desert are tortoises in danger?
  2. What is the raven a larger version of?
  3. Over how long a period did the raven population increase by 700%?
  4. What did a raven population increase to in one place from ten?
  5. By how much have tortoise numbers decreased since 1990?
  6. What did the article say is coming to the rescue of the tortoises?
  7. Who teamed up with drone operators to help the tortoises?
  8. What are conservationists coating raven eggs with?
  9. What might ravens do if they find their eggs are rotten?
  10. What did a conservationist say egg oiling was justified as part of?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  In which part of the Mojave Desert are tortoises in danger?
a) the western part
b) the middle
c) the outer edges
d) the hottest part
2)  What is the raven a larger version of?
a) a blackbird
b) a starling
c) a crow
d) a pigeon
3)  Over how long a period did the raven population increase by 700%?
a) 10 years
b) 15 years
c) 20 years
d) 25 years
4)  What did a raven population increase to in one place from ten?
a) 12,500
b) 15,000
c) 17,500
d) 20,000
5)  By how much have tortoise numbers decreased since 1990?
a) 90%
b) 80%
c) 70%
d) 50%

6)  What did the article say is coming to the rescue of the tortoises?
a) a small bug
b) more sand
c) the weather
d) technology
7)  Who teamed up with drone operators to help the tortoises?
a) desert experts
b) a university
c) biologists
d) raven lovers
8)  What are conservationists coating raven eggs with?
a) paint
b) a film of corn oil
c) sensors
d) tortoise shell
9)  What might ravens do if they find their eggs are rotten?
a) steal tortoise eggs
b) attack more turtles
c) eat them and nest elsewhere
d) lay more eggs
10)  What did a conservationist say egg oiling was justified as part of?
a) cooking
b) a comprehensive approach
c) life
d) the desert eco-system

Role play

Role  A – Avoid Plastic
You think avoiding plastic is the best way to help animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective way of these (and why): feeding bees, not eating meat or donating to the WWF.

Role  B – Feeding Bees
You think feeding bees is the best way to help animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective way of these (and why): avoiding plastic, not eating meat or donating to the WWF.

Role  C – Not Eating Meat
You think not eating meat is the best way to help animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective way of these (and why): feeding bees, avoiding plastic or donating to the WWF.

Role  D – Donating To The WWF
You think donating to the WWF is the best way to help animals. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least effective way of these (and why): feeding bees, not eating meat or avoiding plastic.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'tortoise'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'drone'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • rescue
    • strategy
    • coating
    • oxygen
    • likely
    • part
    • defence
    • threat
    • 700
    • impact
    • 10
    • 90




    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 - Drones used to battle tortoise-killing ravens

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'tortoise'?
    3. What do you know about tortoises?
    4. How can drones help tortoises?
    5. Should we do all we can to help animals in danger?
    6. Should we kill members of one species to help another?
    7. How sad would it be if the Mohave desert tortoises disappeared?
    8. Why are raven numbers increasing?
    9. How else can we stop ravens killing tortoises?
    10. What work would you do as a conservationist?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'drone'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you know about ravens?
    5. What do you think of the method of egg-oiling?
    6. Should people get in the way of nature?
    7. What three adjectives best describe this story?
    8. Which do you like better - tortoises or ravens?
    9. Which species will survive the longest - tortoises or ravens?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the conservationists?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    High-tech drones are (1) ____ to the defence of tortoises in California's Mojave desert. The desert tortoises in the western Mojave are under (2) ____ of being wiped out by ravens. The raven is a larger (3) ____ of the crow. Its population in the Mojave has increased by more than 700 per cent in the past 25 years and this is having a catastrophic (4) ____ on the desert tortoises. Allison Fedrick, a local conservationist, observed that in some places, "where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000". Ms Fedrick noted that if nothing was (5) ____ to help the tortoises, they would be completely wiped out. Their (6) ____ have plummeted by more than 90 per cent since 1990.

    Technology is coming to the rescue of the tortoises. A team of biologists and drone operators has come (7) ____ with a strategy to reduce the raven population. They are using drones and the use of the method of "egg oiling". This (8) ____ flying drones up to the ravens' nests, removing fertilized eggs, coating them with a (9) ____ of corn oil, and then replacing them. The oil blocks oxygen from entering the egg, effectively ending the life of the (10) ____ inside. Biologist Mercy Vaughn said: "If ravens figure out that their eggs are (11) ____, they are likely to eat them and nest someplace else." Conservationist John Griffin said oiling was justified as "part of a comprehensive approach that...addresses all other factors".

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     flying     (b)     flown     (c)     flied     (d)     flier    
    2. (a)     treat     (b)     threaten     (c)     threat     (d)     treatise    
    3. (a)     vision     (b)     verse     (c)     version     (d)     versus    
    4. (a)     packed     (b)     pact     (c)     compact     (d)     impact    
    5. (a)     doing     (b)     did     (c)     done     (d)     doer    
    6. (a)     letters     (b)     numbers     (c)     figures     (d)     digits    
    7. (a)     at     (b)     up     (c)     on     (d)     to    
    8. (a)     revolves     (b)     involves     (c)     solves     (d)     absolves    
    9. (a)     picture     (b)     shoot     (c)     film     (d)     haze    
    10. (a)     emblem     (b)     embezzle     (c)     embargo     (d)     embryo    
    11. (a)     rutted     (b)     rattled     (c)     written     (d)     rotten    
    12. (a)     houses     (b)     lectures     (c)     envelopes     (d)     addresses

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. flying to the nceeefd of tortoises
    2. under tharet of being wiped out
    3. The raven is a larger rsoevin of the crow
    4. having a chiptcaasrto impact
    5. a local oivocnnsrstaiet
    6. edlpmtuem by more than 90 per cent

    Paragraph 2

    1. drone rotsoprae
    2. come up with a sragetty
    3. removing teiefzilrd eggs
    4. ending the life of the bymreo inside
    5. part of a comprehensive oaphpacr
    6. that dressdeas all other factors

    Put the text back together

    (...)  justified as "part of a comprehensive approach that...addresses all other factors".
    1  ) High-tech drones are flying to the defence of tortoises in California's Mojave Desert. The desert tortoises in
    (...)  the life of the embryo inside. Biologist Mercy Vaughn said: "If ravens figure out that their eggs are
    (...)  version of the crow. Its population in the Mojave has increased by more than 700 per cent in the past
    (...)  conservationist, observed that in some places, "where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now
    (...)  15,000". Ms Fedrick noted that if nothing was done to help the tortoises, they would be completely
    (...)  wiped out. Their numbers have plummeted by more than 90 per cent since 1990.
    (...)  of corn oil, and then replacing them. The oil blocks oxygen from entering the egg, effectively ending
    (...)  of "egg oiling". This involves flying drones up to the ravens' nests, removing fertilized eggs, coating them with a film
    (...)  Technology is coming to the rescue of the tortoises. A team of biologists and drone operators has come
    (...)  rotten, they are likely to eat them and nest someplace else." Conservationist John Griffin said oiling was
    (...)  up with a strategy to reduce the raven population. They are using drones and the use of the method
    (...)  the western Mojave are under threat of being wiped out by ravens. The raven is a larger
    (...)  25 years and this is having a catastrophic impact on the desert tortoises. Allison Fedrick, a local

    Put the words in the right order

    1. are   flying   the   of   tortoises   .   drones   to   High-tech   defence
    2. being   Under   out   ravens   .   of   threat   wiped   by
    3. catastrophic   tortoises   .   impact   Having   desert   the   a   on
    4. local   A   in   that   places   .   some   conservationist   observed
    5. plummeted   have   more   numbers   than   by   90%   .   Their
    6. to   of   tortoises   .   rescue   coming   Technology   is   the
    7. with   up   have   strategy   .   operators   a   Drone   come
    8. involves   flying   This   the   to   nests   .   ravens'   drones
    9. inside   .   embryo   life   the   ending   Effectively   the   of
    10. addresses   factors   .   approach   that   all   other   A   comprehensive

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    High-tech drones are flying to the offence / defence of tortoises in California's Mojave Desert. The desert / dessert tortoises in the western Mojave are under threat of being wiped in / out by ravens. The raven is a larger version / verse of the crow. Its population in the Mojave has increased by / at more than 700 per cent in the past 25 years and this is having a catastrophe / catastrophic impact on the desert tortoises. Allison Fedrick, a local conservationist, reserved / observed that in some places, "where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000". Ms Fedrick notation / noted that if nothing was done to help the tortoises, they would be completely / complete wiped out. Their numbers have plumed / plummeted by more than 90 per cent since 1990.

    Technology is coming to / up the rescue of the tortoises. A team of biologists and drone operators has come up with a strategic / strategy to reduce the raven population. They are usage / using drones and the use of the method of "egg oiling". This involves / revolves flying drones up to the ravens' nests, removing fertilized eggs, roasting / coating them with a film of corn oil, and then replacing it / them. The oil blocks oxygen from entering the egg, effectively ending the life of the embryo / embryonic inside. Biologist Mercy Vaughn said: "If ravens number / figure out that their eggs are rotten, they are likely to eat them and nest / next someplace else." Conservationist John Griffin said oiling was justified as "part of a comprehensive approach that...addresses / stamps all other factors".

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    H_g h - t_c h d r_n_s _r_ f l y_n g t_ t h_ d_f_n c_ _f t_r t__ s_s _n C_l_f_r n__ ' s M_j_v_ d_s_r t . T h_ d_s_r t t_r t__ s_s _n t h_ w_s t_r n M_j_v_ _r_ _n d_r t h r__ t _f b__ n g w_p_d __ t b y r_v_n s . T h_ r_v_n _s _ l_r g_r v_r s__ n _f t h_ c r_w . I t s p_p_l_t__ n _n t h_ M_j_v_ h_s _n c r__ s_d b y m_r_ t h_n 7 0 0 p_r c_n t _n t h_ p_s t 2 5 y__ r s _n d t h_s _s h_v_n g _ c_t_s t r_p h_c _m p_c t _n t h_ d_s_r t t_r t__ s_s . A l l_s_n F_d r_c k , _ l_c_l c_n s_r v_t__ n_s t , _b s_r v_d t h_t _n s_m_ p l_c_s , " w h_r_ t h_r_ _s_d t_ b_ 1 0 r_v_n s , t h_r_ _r_ n_w 1 5 , 0 0 0 " . M s F_d r_c k n_t_d t h_t _f n_t h_n g w_s d_n_ t_ h_l p t h_ t_r t__ s_s , t h_y w__ l d b_ c_m p l_t_l y w_p_d __ t . T h__ r n_m b_r s h_v_ p l_m m_t_d b y m_r_ t h_n 9 0 p_r c_n t s_n c_ 1 9 9 0 .

    T_c h n_l_g y _s c_m_n g t_ t h_ r_s c__ _f t h_ t_r t__ s_s . A t__ m _f b__ l_g_s t s _n d d r_n_ _p_r_t_r s h_s c_m_ _p w_t h _ s t r_t_g y t_ r_d_c_ t h_ r_v_n p_p_l_t__ n . T h_y _r_ _s_n g d r_n_s _n d t h_ _s_ _f t h_ m_t h_d _f "_g g __ l_n g " . T h_s _n v_l v_s f l y_n g d r_n_s _p t_ t h_ r_v_n s ' n_s t s , r_m_v_n g f_r t_l_z_d _g g s , c__ t_n g t h_m w_t h _ f_l m _f c_r n __ l , _n d t h_n r_p l_c_n g t h_m . T h_ __ l b l_c k s _x y g_n f r_m _n t_r_n g t h_ _g g , _f f_c t_v_l y _n d_n g t h_ l_f_ _f t h_ _m b r y_ _n s_d_. B__ l_g_s t M_r c y V__ g h n s__ d : " I f r_v_n s f_g_r_ __ t t h_t t h__ r _g g s _r_ r_t t_n , t h_y _r_ l_k_l y t_ __ t t h_m _n d n_s t s_m_p l_c_ _l s_. " C_n s_r v_t__ n_s t J_h n G r_f f_n s__ d __ l_n g w_s j_s t_f__ d _s " p_r t _f _ c_m p r_h_n s_v_ _p p r__ c h t h_t . . ._d d r_s s_s _l l _t h_r f_c t_r s " .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    hightech drones are flying to the defence of tortoises in californias Mojave Desert the desert tortoises in the western mojave are under threat of being wiped out by ravens the raven is a larger version of the crow its population in the mojave has increased by more than 700 per cent in the past 25 years and this is having a catastrophic impact on the desert tortoises allison fedrick a local conservationist observed that in some places where there used to be 10 ravens there are now 15000 ms fedrick noted that if nothing was done to help the tortoises they would be completely wiped out their numbers have plummeted by more than 90 per cent since 1990

    technology is coming to the rescue of the tortoises a team of biologists and drone operators has come up with a strategy to reduce the raven population they are using drones and the use of the method of egg oiling this involves flying drones up to the ravens nests removing fertilized eggs coating them with a film of corn oil and then replacing them the oil blocks oxygen from entering the egg effectively ending the life of the embryo inside biologist mercy vaughn said if ravens figure out that their eggs are rotten they are likely to eat them and nest someplace else conservationist john griffin said oiling was justified as part of a comprehensive approach thataddresses all other factors.

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    High-techdronesareflyingtothedefenceoftortoisesinCalifornia'sMo
    javeDesert.ThedeserttortoisesinthewesternMojaveareunderthreato
    fbeingwipedoutbyravens.Theravenisalargerversionofthecrow.Itspo
    pulationintheMojavehasincreasedbymorethan700percentinthepast
    25yearsandthisishavingacatastrophicimpactonthedeserttortoises.A
    llisonFedrick,alocalconservationist,observedthatinsomeplaces,"wh
    erethereusedtobe10ravens,therearenow15,000".MsFedricknotedth
    atifnothingwasdonetohelpthetortoises,theywouldbecompletelywipe
    dout.Theirnumbershaveplummetedbymorethan90percentsince199
    0.Technologyiscomingtotherescueofthetortoises.Ateamofbiologists
    anddroneoperatorshascomeupwithastrategytoreducetheravenpop
    ulation.Theyareusingdronesandtheuseofthemethodof"eggoiling".T
    hisinvolvesflyingdronesuptotheravens'nests,removingfertilizedegg
    s,coatingthemwithafilmofcornoil,andthenreplacingthem.Theoilbloc
    ksoxygenfromenteringtheegg,effectivelyendingthelifeoftheembryoi
    nside.BiologistMercyVaughnsaid:"Ifravensfigureoutthattheireggsar
    erotten,theyarelikelytoeatthemandnestsomeplaceelse."Conservati
    onistJohnGriffinsaidoilingwasjustifiedas"partofacomprehensiveapp
    roachthat...addressesallotherfactors".

    Free writing

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

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

     

    Academic writing

    It is OK to kill members of one species to save another from extinction. Discuss.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

     

    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. TORTOISES: Make a poster about tortoises. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. EGG-OILING: Write a magazine article about egg-oiling raven eggs to save tortoises. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on tortoises. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to save tortoises. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Help Support This Web Site

    • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

    Sean Banville's Book

    Thank You