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Conservation Efforts: Bring Back the Big Cats - IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 06 December, 2023

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Bring Back the Big Cats Reading Passage:

The initiative to 'Bring Back the Big Cats' has become a rallying cry for conservationists worldwide. This ambitious undertaking not only aims to reintroduce these majestic animals into their former habitats but also to rebalance ecosystems that have been disrupted by their absence. The loss of big cats—lions, tigers, leopards, and cheetahs—due to habitat destruction, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict has left a void in the biodiversity of many regions, affecting other species and the health of the environment.

Big cats play a crucial role as apex predators in their ecosystems. Their presence helps maintain the population of herbivores, which in turn influences the vegetation and landscape. Without these predators, the entire structure of the ecosystem can change, leading to overgrazing and the decline of various plant species. The effects cascade down the food chain, disrupting the ecological balance.

'Rewilding' is a conservation effort that involves returning these animals to their natural environments and has been met with both enthusiasm and skepticism. Proponents argue that rewilding big cats can restore the integrity of ecosystems, while opponents cite the challenges of human-animal conflicts and the feasibility of sustaining these predators in altered landscapes.

Research has shown that the areas targeted for rewilding must be carefully evaluated. Suitable habitats must have an adequate prey base, minimal human conflict potential, and corridors that connect different populations to ensure genetic diversity. In some regions, this has led to the creation of wildlife corridors—strips of land that allow animals to move between habitats safely.

Despite the complexities, the movement to 'Bring Back the Big Cats' is gaining momentum, with several successful reintroduction projects serving as beacons of hope. These initiatives often include local communities, combining modern science with traditional knowledge to foster coexistence and mutual benefit.



Q1. What is the primary goal of the 'Bring Back the Big Cats' initiative?

A. To increase tourism

B. To reintroduce big cats into former habitats

C. To enhance local communities

D. To promote hunting

Q2. Fill in the blank: Big cats are considered _______ in their ecosystems.

Q3. True or False: The decline of big cats has no significant impact on vegetation and landscape.

Q4. What does 'rewilding' involve?

A. Capturing big cats for zoos

B. Returning animals to their natural environments

C. Breeding big cats in captivity

D. Protecting human settlements from wildlife

Q5. Fill in the blank: Rewilding efforts require careful evaluation of areas for _______.

Q6. True or False: Wildlife corridors are designed to help animals avoid contact with humans.

Q7. What do successful reintroduction projects often include?

A. Only modern scientific methods

B. Solely traditional knowledge

C. Local communities and a blend of knowledge

D. International funding only

Q8. Fill in the blank: The absence of big cats in ecosystems can lead to _______.

Q9. True or False: Rewilding is universally accepted without any skepticism.

Q10. What is a critical consideration for areas targeted for rewilding?

A. The presence of urban development

B. Availability of prey and connectivity for populations

C. Potential for agricultural use

D. Proximity to marine environments

Answers with Explanations:

A1. B. To reintroduce big cats into former habitats

Explanation: The passage states that the goal is to reintroduce big cats into their former habitats to rebalance ecosystems.

A2. Apex predators

Explanation: The term 'apex predators' is used to describe big cats in the context of their ecosystems.

A3. False

Explanation: The passage explains that the loss of big cats affects the population of herbivores and vegetation, hence impacting the landscape.

A4. B. Returning animals to their natural environments

Explanation: Rewilding is described as the effort of returning these animals to their natural environments.

A5. Suitability

Explanation: The text mentions that areas for rewilding need to be evaluated for their suitability, including factors like prey base and human conflict potential.

A6. True

Explanation: Wildlife corridors are indeed meant to provide safe passage for animals to move between habitats, implying reduced human contact.

A7. C. Local communities and a blend of knowledge

Explanation: Successful projects include local communities and integrate both modern science and traditional knowledge.

A8. Overgrazing

Explanation: The passage discusses how the absence of big cats can change the structure of ecosystems, leading to overgrazing.

A9. False

Explanation: Rewilding is met with both enthusiasm and skepticism, as stated in the passage.

A10. B. Availability of prey and connectivity for populations

Explanation: Critical considerations for rewilding areas include having an adequate prey base and corridors for population connectivity.

Understanding complex environmental initiatives such as 'Bring Back the Big Cats' is crucial for IELTS candidates, not only to broaden their knowledge but also to prepare for a variety of topics they may encounter in the reading section. This passage, with its corresponding questions and answers, serves as a practical example for IELTS learners to hone their comprehension skills. It demonstrates how to dissect informational text and extract key points, an ability that will undoubtedly aid them in achieving a desirable IELTS score. Remember, the best preparation combines understanding content with mastering the format of the test, and this article provides tools for both.


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Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

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