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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
National parks around the world that are open to the public are often admired for their awe-inspiring natural beauty, scenery and landscape, diverse flora and fauna, and priceless artefacts or archaeological interests (the Mayan ruins, for instance). They are usually protected by government authorities and they are popular because of their uniqueness. The Yellowstone National Park in the USA, for example, is known for its deep gorges, grand canyons, active geysers and beautiful waterfalls. The Great Barrier Reef National Park, a marine park in Australia, showcases box jellyfish, great white sharks, dugongs, whales, dolphins and a spectacular array of corals. In South Africa, the Kruger National Park boasts of magnificent wildlife and birds. The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania has zebras, gazelles, wildebeests and leopards alongside picturesque acacia trees. The Tikal National Park in Guatemala beckons visitors to admire its ancient Mayan sites and lush forests. And in Malaysia, national parks with their abundant forests of tropical vegetation, mangroves, mountaintop oaks, and trees are a home to a multitude of flowers, birds, ferns and insects. They also house the world's rarest and most remarkable animal species-the Sumatran rhinoceros, the clouded leopard, the Malayan tiger, the sun bear, the monitor lizard, the proboscis monkey and the orangutan. Some well-known national parks in Malaysia are Taman Negara in Pahang, Endau Rompin National Park in Johor, Royal Belum State Park in Perak, Bako National Park in Sarawak and Pulau Tiga Park in Sabah. These natural wonders, however, may not remain so for future generations to enjoy. Over the years, national parks around the world have encountered numerous preservation challenges caused by natural and human factors.

Climate change is one big challenge with its threat of global warming and greenhouse effect. A report released by the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization revealed that 12 national parks in the USA are currently facing serious damage from the increasing effects of this threat. The rise in temperature has resulted in glaciers melting, especially in the Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Temperature change has also forced animal migration to new habitats and this is a loss to parks as a decline in animal species puts their overall ecosystem at risk. The loss of animal species is also a loss to human beings and science as studies on certain animal species have benefitted the fields of science and medicine in combating diseases. Climate change has also caused coral bleaching in some marine parks, the deterioration of wildlife habitats due to species extinction and caused more occurrences of forest fires which further threaten wildlife.

National parks also face threats from human activities. Increasing development within parks and around their boundaries have negatively affected the park environment. Buildings and factories at boundary fringes release waste and toxic gases which are carried by the wind and are trapped in the mountains. In turn, this air pollution affects plants and further mars the scenic view of national parks. This poor air quality is further aggravated by visitors' vehicle emissions, camp fires and wood stoves. In addition, water pollution has become an issue. Water used by visitors and workers in parks to cook, water plants and wash cars creates a run-off that pollutes the natural water in parks.

Visitors' attitudes and irresponsible activities in parks have also accelerated deterioration in some national parks. Recreational activities such as hiking, camping and boating pollute the air. For instance, Biscayne National Park in South Florida is faced with the problem of littering and the destruction of its coral reefs. Visitors who partied in their boats littered the water and crashed their boats into the coral reefs when they were drunk (Guarneros, 2011). National parks in Sabah encounter the same problem due to visitors jet skiing and participating in motorised sports. Garbage in the water is also detrimental to coral reefs and turtle species in the park. According to a research by the Main Research Unit at Pulau Manukan in 1999, it was found that 47.4 percent of the collected underwater garbage comprised plastic bags and plastic used for domestic purposes (Maipol Spait, 2001).

Another problem in national parks is the introduction of invasive plant and animal species by visitors. The Everglades National Park in Florida is in a difficult situation when exotic animals like the Burmese python, the Tokay gecko and the Cuban tree-frog introduced to the park have now affected the natural ecosystem of the park. Invasive plant species like the Brazillian pepper and the Australian pine have killed off or decreased the native species in the park (Guarneros, 2011). In Malaysia, the staff of Sabah Parks are often left with the extra work of weeding tonnes of dandelions from the Kinabalu Park. Despite their efforts to remove this invasive species over the past decade, dandelions have continued to persist, especially at the higher altitudes of Mount Kinabalu. This plant is believed to be introduced by tourists a decade ago when they visited Kinabalu Park as whilst unknowingly carrying the seeds in their shoes or bags. The dandelions appear to be displacing local plants and are beginning to dominate Kinabalu Park by killing off the park's native plant species (Sario, 2011).

National parks are gifts from God and should be preserved by mankind. We should enjoy their natural beauty at their best now than later as we may not know how long they will remain intact. We can prolong their existence by safeguarding their beauty and their significance to science, archeology, (Yes! the Tikal National Park for example, contains ancient ruins of lost civilisations) and mankind. It is the responsibility of all to care for and preserve these parks so that all and posterity can enjoy their magnificence.

     
    What do the following words or phrases refer to in the passage ?
  1. They ( paragraph I )
  2. this ( paragraph II )
  3. their ( paragraph IV )
  4. this invasive species ( paragraph V )
  5. their ( paragraph VI )
     
    Using contextual clues, find a word with the same meaning as the following words from the passage.
  1. spectacular ( paragraph I )
  2. lush ( paragraph I )
  3. multitude ( paragraph I )
  4. combating ( paragraph II )
  5. aggravated ( paragraph III )
  6. persist ( paragraph V )
  7. safeguarding ( paragraph VI )
  8. posterity ( paragraph VI )
     
    Answer the questions below based on the passage.
  1. What is the main purpose of the writer for writing the passage ?
  2. What is the topic sentence of paragraph III ?
  3. Why are invasive plant and animal species detrimental to national parks ?
  4. List three examples of human activities that can harm national parks.
  5. Make an inference based on the passage on the contributions of the world's national parks to mankind and to the fields of knowledge.
  6. What is the tone of the writer in the last paragraph of the passage ?
     
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    Answers
     
1.   Malaysian national parks
2.   temperature change can cause animal species to migrate to new habitats
3.   the visitors
4.   Burmese pythons, Tokay geckos and the Cuban tree-frogs
5.   national parks
     
1.   magnificent / incredible
2   luxuriant / rich
3.   plentiful / numerous
4.   fighting
5.   worsened
6.   continue to exist
7.   protecting
8.   future generations
     
1.  

To inform about the threats faced by national parks around the world

2  

National parks also face threats from human activities.

3.  

They kill off and/or drive away the native species of the park. This will affect the natural ecosystem of the park.

4.  

a) Increasing developments within and/or around national parks contribute to pollution.

b) Visitors' vehicle emissions, camp fires and wood stoves when they visit the parks.

c) Water used by visitors and workers to cook, water plants and wash cars creates runoff that pollutes the natural water in parks.

d) Visitors pollute parks by littering while participating in recreational activities, such as hiking, camping and boating.

e) Visitors crash their boats or jetskis into coral reefs and damage them.

f) Visitors' litter can damage coral reefs and kill turtles.

( Accept any three )

5.  

National parks of the world should be treasured by humans. They contain possible answers to the cure for diseases and priceless archaeological interests or artefacts that can be uncovered to learn about ancient cultures and civilizations.

6.  

Appealing / Advising ( Accept other suitable answers )

     
 
 
 
 

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