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Words in the News
Wednesday 22 May 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  tiger cubs
Quarter of Mammals Face Extinction
Summary: Almost a quarter of the world's mammals face extinction within thirty years, according to a United Nations report on the state of the global environment. This report from Corinne Podger:
The News Listen  
  The United Nations Environment Programme report identifies more than eleven thousand endangered animal and plant species, including more than a thousand mammals, a quarter of the world's total. One in eight bird species is also in danger of extinction, and more than five thousand different plants.

The species likely to vanish forever within three decades include well-publicised cases, such as the black rhinoceros and the Siberian tiger, and less well-known animals such as the Philippine eagle and the Asian Amur leopard.

The UN report is a review of the past thirty years of environmental damage.

Based on that assessment, the UN says all the factors which have led to the extinction of species in recent decades continue to operate with "ever-increasing intensity".

The encroachment of human settlement into wilderness regions, rainforest and wetlands destruction, and the impact of industry, have had a dramatic impact on the survival of threatened animals and plants.

The report says many problems could be rectified if governments implement the treaties and conventions passed since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 - including the Kyoto protocol on climate change and the Convention on Biodiversity.


The Words Listen
if you endanger something, you do something that may damage it or destroy it

types (of plant, animal or bird) with the same main characteristics

types of animals, which when young are fed on milk from their mother’s body

the extinction of a species is the death of all its remaining members

causes, reasons

  continue to operate with 'ever-increasing intensity'
continue to increase more and more

the result of encroaching - if something encroaches on an area of land, it gradually covers more and more of it

  human settlement
place where people have come to live and build their homes

corrected, put right

  treaties and conventions
different types of official agreements between countries

  Read more about this story  

Other Words in the News archives


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