31 gardens The idea of ‘important plants are no longer found in’ is paraphrased in ‘…gardens …don’t always contain the kind of plant that insects need.’
32 climate change In the recording, the ‘cause of’ butterfly and beetle loss is changed to ‘They [=scientists] put this down to climate change’. [Both words are necessary]
Distraction ‘fragmentation of habitat’ is also
mentioned, but scientists do not believe this is a
cause. The phrase is also 3 words, and only two
words can be written in each gap.
33 memory We are told that pesticide impacts on [=affects] a bee’s memory. This is further explained as ‘This means that they cannot remember how to get back to their hive.’
34 food chain ‘An essential part of’ becomes ‘at the bottom of the food chain… They’re [=insects are] absolutely vital’ [Both words are necessary]
35 medicine In the recording, the idea of research based on plants is expressed as ‘scientists are now
studying plants to find out whether they might be a source of medicine’.
36 meat The answer can be found in ‘If we cut down on [=reduced] how much meat we ate [=consumed]…’
37 bricks We are told that ‘they [=builders/housing developers] removed tons and tons of the sand and turned it [=the sand] into bricks’.
38 eggs The speaker explains that that the metalmark butterfly lays its eggs on the buckwheat plant, and on no other.
39 fire In the recording ‘wildlife’ is explained as
‘butterflies and plants’ and we are told that fire has destroyed a significant number of them [= it has led to their loss].
40 conservation The speaker explains that while some projects involving conservation need a lot of land, others do not. In the case of the metalmark butterfly, it only needed the area of the dunes to survive.
Questions 31 to 36.
Student: So today I’m going to be talking about the way that different insect species are being threatened. In other words, the reasons why
some insect populations are declining – and might even become extinct in the 21st century. I’ll also talk about the consequences – if extinction occurs – and some possible ways to prevent that.
Let’s start with the reasons. First of all, when we look at what’s going on
in Europe, we can see a huge decline in certain species of insects. This is partly because farmers no longer allow certain plants to grow in their
fields. But farmers are not entirely to blame. The gardens that people have nowadays don’t always contain the kind of plant that insects need.
So perhaps we need to rethink what we’re putting there. In more tropical regions of the world, for example, the Amazon rainforest, scientists have noticed that the number of beetle and butterfly species also appears to be diminishing. They put this down to climate change, rather than say, the fragmentation of habitat – but more research has to be done.
And then, there’s the use of pesticides, and of course, this happens everywhere in the world. Pesticide is designed to kill a range of insects
that farmers don’t like, but it also kills bees, which they need. Pesticide
might not kill bees directly, but we know that it impacts on their spatial skills – meaning they cannot make sense of what they see around them – and also their memory. This means that they cannot remember how to get back to their hive.
So why worry about whether insects become extinct? Well, the consequences would obviously be terrible not just for them, but for us.
Pretty much everywhere on the planet, with the exception of Antarctica, insects are at the bottom of the food chain. They’re absolutely vital, because if there were no insects, there would also be no birds or lizards
or mammals. Then there’s the role that insects play in crop production.
We use them to pollinate our fruits and vegetables, and it would be impossible to manage without them. It’s also worth remembering that scientists are now studying plants to find out whether they might be a
source of medicine in the future. If these plants disappear because of insect extinction, that would be another lost opportunity.
So, there’s some possible ways we could prevent insect extinction, some more controversial than others. I think it’s a given that governments have to do something about the sale of pesticides; in fact, some countries
have already passed laws to ban certain products. That’s a good move forward. But ordinary people can also make a difference. If we cut down on how much meat we eat, some of the land now used for grazing could be turned back into insect-friendly environments.
Questions 37 – 40
I’d like to finish with a positive story. There’s a place in California called the Antioch Dunes. In the 1900s, people looked at the dunes and the
sand that formed them and thought ‘that sand is a great raw material’.
And because they needed to build houses, they removed tons and tons of the sand and turned it into bricks. It wasn’t really until the 1960s that
biologists suddenly realised that the Antioch Dunes had actually been home to some unique species of plant and insect. But by this time, there was only one species of butterfly left. The metalmark butterfly. And a major problem for the metalmark was that it required a certain plant to survive –something called the naked-stem buckwheat. It was on this plant that it laid its eggs, so yes, you can see why the buckwheat was important. Well, in the end, the only way that the biologists could get the buckwheat to start growing properly was to replace the sand. That was a great first step, but the metalmark butterfly is still endangered.
In the last decade, a significant number of butterflies and plants have been destroyed in the Antioch Dunes by fire. So now, the biologists are
limiting the number of visitors who can wander around the dunes. That’s fair enough, I think. All right, the final point I want to make about the
project to restore the Antioch Dunes area is to do with how much land is required: when we think about the concept of conservation we often assume we need to set aside a large amount of it. And that might be true
for some large species. But in this case, relatively little land was required.
But the important thing is to leave it undisturbed. OK…