Cambridge B1 Preliminary
B1 Preliminary - Reading Multiple Choice Exercise 4
Read the text and then for each question, choose which of the four possible answers is best. Think also about why the other three answers are not possible.
Beavers: The Ecosystem Engineers Under Threat
In the world of wildlife, beavers are known as "ecosystem engineers." These hard-working creatures play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our environment, but sadly, they are under threat. Understanding their importance and the fight to protect them is essential for preserving our natural world.
Beavers are remarkable animals. They are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate and change their environment. By building dams, beavers create wetlands, which are one of the most biologically productive habitats on earth. These wetlands provide a home for a wide range of wildlife, from birds and fish to invertebrates and plants.
The dams also slow the flow of water, reducing the risk of floods downstream. They filter out pollutants, improving the quality of our water. Moreover, the carbon stored in the dams and surrounding wetlands helps mitigate climate change.
Yet, despite their ecological benefits, beavers face numerous threats. Habitat loss is a significant concern. As we continue to develop and change natural landscapes, beaver populations decline. Illegal trapping and hunting for their fur, once a thriving industry, also pose a serious risk.
To address these issues, conservationists are taking action. Efforts are being made to protect beaver habitats, restrict hunting, and reintroduce beavers in areas where they have disappeared. In some cases, artificial beaver dams are being created to mimic the benefits they provide.
Public education is another vital component of the fight to protect beavers. Many people are unaware of the important role these creatures play in our ecosystems. Encouraging appreciation and understanding of beavers and their habitats can help ensure their future survival.
Nevertheless, it's a challenging road ahead. Beavers are still considered pests in some areas, blamed for flooding and damage to timber. Changing these perceptions requires time, patience, and dedication.
But the fight is worth it. By protecting beavers, we are not only saving a species. We are preserving the ecosystems that depend on them and, in the process, helping to sustain our own future. Protecting beavers and teaching people to protect beavers is a vital part of the process where people learn about an interconnected environment and that few things live in isolation.