Nobel prize of conservation
A Welsh biologist
once criticised for stealing
eggs from the nests of the rarest bird in the
has been awarded the 'Nobel prize'
conservation after his controversial methods
saved nine species from extinction. Professor
Carl Jones won the 2016 Indianapolis Prize - the
highest accolade in the field of animal
conservation - for his 40 years of work in Mauritius,
where he saved an endangered kestrel from
becoming the next Dodo.
When the 61-year-old first travelled to the east
African island in the 1970s
he was told to close
down a project to save the Mauritius kestrel.
At the time
there were just four left in the wild,
making it the rarest bird on Earth. However he
stayed, implementing the controversial techniques
of captive breeding and a strategy known as
double-clutching, which involved snatching eggs
from the birds' nests and hatching them under
incubators, prompting the mothers to lay
another set of eggs in the wild.
A decade later, the number of Mauritius kestrels
had soared to over 300 and
today there are
around 400 in the wild.
The biologist has
also been integral in efforts to bring
other rare species back from the brink of
extinction, including the pink pigeon,
echo parakeet and Rodrigues warbler.
He is credited with championing the idea
which is a
conservation tactic in which
fill in important ecological roles once held
by extinct species.
Prof. Jones, originally
from St Clears, near Carmarthen,
the $250,000 prize
at a ceremony at the
Natural History Museum in London.
Reflecting on the start of his career, he said
the Mauritius kestrel project had been seen
as a dead loss at the time.
He had originally
gone out there for one or possible two years
only to be told to pull out of the project
and hand it over to the locals. At the time
they didn't have the money or expertise to
do it so that would essentially have meant
closing it down.
In the 1970s there was fierce opposition to
the captive breeding techniques, with critics
arguing that they were too risky and took the
emphasis off breeding in the wild.
But the biologist, now chief scientist of the
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and scientific
director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation,
said the method of taking eggs from the nests
had worked exceedingly well.
Prof. Jones has dedicated his whole life to his
becoming a father for the first
time eight years ago, at 53.
He said receiving the prize was particularly
important to him because
it vindicated his
work to save birds, whereas previous winners
have tended to concentrate on more high profile
like polar bears or elephants.
1) In the first paragraph, the writer's intention is to draw a contrast between
- A) how different parts of society see conservation.
- B) how geographical perspectives affect conservation.
- C) the way different species are treated.
- D) past and present circumstances.
2) How does the writer describe the plight of the Mauritius kestrel in the second paragraph?
- A) Desperate.
- B) Promising.
- C) Predictable.
- D) Surprising.
3) How does the writer feel about Professor Jones' influence on other endangered species?
- A) He was the source of unnecessary conflict.
- B) His participation was indispensable.
- C) His ideas were considered unorthodox.
- D) He was thought to be too selective.
4) What does the writer mean with the word championing in paragraph 4?
- A) Choosing one species over another.
- B) Projecting a 'win at any cost' mentality.
- C) Being the driving force.
- D) Having an inclusive attitude.
5) In what way does the writer feel the professor was let down in the fifth paragraph?
- A) He wasn't give his due respect.
- B) The money he was promised never materialised.
- C) His living conditions were not acceptable.
- D) The duration of the project was altered abruptly.
6) What conclusions does the professor draw from winning the prize in the seventh paragraph?
- A) He felt justified in saving a less publicised group.
- B) The pride his family felt made the suffering worthwhile.
- C) He appreciated finally being considered important.
- D) He understood how fortunate he was.