Past Question by GRE Question a Day



Directions: Multiple choice - select a single answer.

Elephant poachers in the Central African Republic are taking advantage of recent political turmoil to hunt in protected areas and to sell the animals' tusks.

The already-rampant poaching trade - fueled by high ivory demand from Asia and responsible for the slaughter of between 20,000 and 30,000 elephants a year in Africa - has been further exacerbated by the ousting of President Francois Bozize last month. "The situation is really quite dangerous," Bas Huijbregts, the World Wildlife Fund's head of policy in the region, told Reuters.

The World Wildlife Fund, which has been working on conservation projects in the CAR since the 1980s, reported that the poaching is occurring in protected areas like the Dzanga-Sangha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although it did not offer exact numbers, the WWF said in their statement that "initial reports indicate the slaughter may be extensive."

Poaching has long been a problem across central Africa where government control over territory is often tenuous and easy access to weapons means poaching gangs are frequently more heavily armed than the rangers or soldiers meant to protect wildlife. Herds have been catastrophically reduced in recent years as demand for ivory in China and elsewhere in the Far East has soared because growing economies have provided greater disposable income for luxury items. In just a couple of weeks early last year, as many as 200 elephants were killed by poachers in Chad. The World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society are calling on CAR's new government to increase security for the animals in order to stop the "slaughter." However, with rebel leaders struggling to establish their grip on power, the elephants aren't likely to be a high priority.

On yet another front, researchers have added genetic profiling to their arsenal to combat poaching. The method, developed by Samuel Wasser of the University of Washington enables scientists to match the DNA from illegally harvested elephant tusks seized in Asia with the specific region where the animal lived and was poached, an important clue that could give authorities the leverage they need to step up patrols and enforcement in those areas.

Africa's elephant population has declined since the late 1970s from 1.3 million to as low as 472,000, National Geographic reported, and if poaching continues at the current rate, it is anticipated that that the animals, already severely threatened, may become extinct by 2025. "Heroic rangers are standing firm in the face of immense danger, but they alone cannot safeguard the special species and places the world treasures," WWF director Jim Leape said in a joint statement with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Both organizations have pulled their staffs out of the region as the violence has escalated.

"I recently visited CAR and saw first-hand that without a full-time conservation presence in the region, these elephants are in jeopardy from poachers," said WCS President Cristian Samper. Eight conservation organizations in the Congo basin, including the African Parks Network and TRAFFIC met in Brazzaville to discuss ways to curb the poaching. In the ultimate analysis, they have urged the African nations affected to solidify their relationships with Asia's biggest ivory importers, such as Japan, China and Thailand, to stem the flow of illegally-poached ivory.

Question 2: Which of the following statements from the passage, if true, offers assurance that elephant poaching endemic to Central Africa will eventually abate?


A

The World Wildlife Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society are calling on CAR's new government to increase security for the animals in order to stop the "slaughter."

B

Eight conservation organizations in the Congo basin, including the African Parks Network and TRAFFIC met in Brazzaville to discuss ways to curb the poaching.

C

On yet another front, researchers have added genetic profiling to their arsenal to combat poaching.

D

Africa's elephant population has declined since the late 1970s from 1.3 million to as low as 472,000, National Geographic reported, and if poaching continues at the current rate, it is anticipated that that the animals, already severely threatened, may become extinct by 2025.

E

In the ultimate analysis, they have urged the African nations affected to solidify their relationships with Asia's biggest ivory importers, such as China and Thailand, to stem the flow of illegally-poached ivory.



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