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Zoo Conservation Programmes: Reading Answers

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Cambridge 1 Academic Reading Test 1 – Passage 02: Zoo conservation programmes with answers location and pdf summary. This reading paragraph has been taken from our huge collection of Academic & General Training (GT) Reading practice test PDF’s.

IELTS reading module focuses on evaluating a candidate’s comprehension skills and ability to understand English. This is done by testing the reading proficiency through questions based on different structures and paragraphs (500-950 words each). There are 40 questions in total and hence it becomes extremely important to practice each and every question structure before actually sitting for the exam.

This reading passage mainly consists of following types of questions:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Yes/No/Not Given

We are going to read about the Zoo conservation programmes around the city of London. You must read the passage carefully and try to answer all questions correctly. 

Zoo conservation programmes

One of London Zoo’s new notices caused me some bothering, so evidently did it contort reality. Featured “Without zoos you should advise these creatures to get stuffed”, it was lined with representations of a few imperiled animal varieties and proceeded to praise the legend that without zoos like London Zoo these animals “will in all likelihood vanish until the end of time”. With the zoo world’s somewhat average record on protection, one may be excused for being marginally incredulous with regards to such a commercial.

Zoos were originally created as places of entertainment, and their suggested involvement with conservation didn’t seriously arise until about 30 years ago, when the Zoological Society of London held the first formal international meeting on the subject. Eight years later, a series of world conferences took place, entitled “The Breeding of Endangered Species”, and from this point onwards conservation became the zoo community’s buzzword. This commitment has now been clearh defined in The World Zpo Conservation Strategy (WZGS, September 1993), which although an important and welcome document does seem to be based on an unrealistic optimism about the nature of the zoo industry

The WZCS estimates that there are about 10,000 zoos in the world, of which around 1,000 represent a core of quality collections capable of participating in co-ordinated conservation programmes. This is probably the document’s first failing, as I believe that 10,000 is a serious underestimate of the total number of places masquerading as zoological establishments. Of course it is difficult to get accurate data but, to put the issue into perspective, I have found that, in a year of working in Eastern Europe, I discover fresh zoos on almost a weekly basis.

The second flaw in the reasoning of the WZCS document is the naive faith it places in its 1,000 core zoos. One would assume that the calibre of these institutions would have been carefully examined, but it appears that the criterion for inclusion on this select list might merely be that the zoo is a member of a zoo federation or association. This might be a good starting point, working on the premise that members must meet certain standards, but again the facts don’t support the theory.

The greatly respected American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA) has had extremely dubious members, and in the UK the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland has occasionally had members that have been roundly censured in the national press. These include Robin Hill Adventure Park on the Isle of Wight, which many considered the most notorious collection of animals in the country.

This establishment, which for years was protected by the Isle’s local council (which viewed it as a tourist amenity), was finally closed down following a damning report by a veterinary inspector appointed under the terms of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. As it was always a collection of dubious repute, one is obliged to reflect upon the standards that the Zoo Federation sets when granting membership. The situation is even worse in developing countries where little money is available for redevelopment and it is hard to see a way of incorporating collections into the overall scheme of the WZCS.

Even assuming that the WZCS’s 1,000 core zoos are all of a high standard complete with scientific staff and research facilities, trained and dedicated keepers, accommodation that permits normal or natural behaviour, and a policy of co-operating fully with one another what might be the potential for conservation? Colin Tudge, author of Last Animals at the Zoo (Oxford University Press, 1992), argues that “if the world”s zoos worked together in co-operative breeding programmes, then even without further expansion they could save around 2,000 species of endangered land vertebrates’.

This seems an extremely optimistic proposition from a man who must be aware of the failings and weaknesses of the zoo industry the man who, when a member of the council of London Zoo, had to persuade the zoo to devote more of its activities to conservation. Moreover, where are the facts to support such optimism?

Today approximately 16 species might be said to have been “saved” by captive breeding programmes, although a number of these can hardly be looked upon as resounding successes. Beyond that, about a further 20 species are being seriously considered for zoo conservation programmes. Given that the international conference at London Zoo was held 30 years ago, this is pretty slow progress, and a long way off Tudge’s target of 2,000.

Questions 16-22

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 2 – Zoo conservation programmes? In boxes 16-22 write:

YESif the statement agrees with the writer
NOif the statement contradicts the writer
NOT GIVENif it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
reading answers of zoo conservation programmes

16. London Zoo’s advertisements are dishonest.

17. Zoos made an insignificant contribution to conservation up until 30 years ago.

18. The WZCS document is not known in Eastern Europe.

19. Zoos in the WZCS select list were carefully inspected.

20. No-one knew how the animals were being treated at Robin Hill Adventure Park.

21. Colin Tudge was dissatisfied with the treatment of animals at London Zoo.

22. The number of successful zoo conservation programmes is unsatisfactory.

Questions 23-25

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 8-10 on your answer sheet.

23. What were the objectives of the WZCS document?

A)  to improve the calibre of zoos world-wide

B)  to identify zoos suitable for conservation practice

C) to provide funds for zoos in underdeveloped countries

D)  to list the endangered species of the world

24. Why does the writer refer to Robin Hill Adventure Park?

A)  to support the Isle of Wight local council

B)  to criticise the 1981 Zoo Licensing Act

C)  to illustrate a weakness in the WZCS document

D) to exemplify the standards in AAZPA zoos

25. What word best describes the writer’s response to Colin Tudges’ prediction on captive breeding programmes?

A)  disbelieving

B)  impartial

C)  prejudiced

D)  accepting

Questions 26-28

The writer mentions a number of factors Which lead him to doubt the value of the WZCS document.

Which THREE of the following factors are mentioned?

Write your answers (A-F) in boxes 26-28 on your answer sheet.

List of Factors
A. the number of unregistered zoos in the world
B. the lack of money in developing countries
C. the actions of the Isle of Wight local council
D. the failure of the WZCS to examine the standards of the ‘core zoos’
E. the unrealistic aim of the WZCS in view of the number of species saved to date
F. the policies of the WZCS zoo managers


Check out your Zoo conservation programmes reading answers below with locations and explanations given in the text.

QuestionsTaskSkills tested
16-22Yes, No, Not Given▪️ skimming for detailed information
▪️ identifying attitude and opinion
▪️ understanding gist and paraphrase
23-25Multiple choice▪️ skimming for factual information
▪️ identifying main & supporting points
▪️ understanding attitude
26-28Selecting factors▪️ skimming/scanning for specific information
▪️ identifying main ideas
▪️ understanding paraphrase and inference

Questions 26-28

(Suggested approach)

  • Read the task rubric carefully. Only three of the factors in the list are correct. The correct factors explain why the author doubts the value of the WZCS document.
  • Scan the text and mark the section that discusses the accuracy/value of theWZCS document. This is from the third paragraph onwards.
  • Read through the list of factors to familiarise yourself with it.
  • Begin reading the third paragraph more carefully, looking for phrases that signal that the writer is going to discuss something that is wrong with the document. The first signal is: ‘This is probably the document’s first failing …’ You can infer from what the writer then states, that A is one of the correct factors.
  • Re-read the list of factors from B-F.
  • Continue reading the text, looking for other signals.
  • Select the two other correct factors.
  • Remember that if you put more than one factor beside each question number on your answer sheet, you will not get any marks. However the three correct answers can be written down in any order.
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