is nowhere safe for our feathered friends?
peacocks in general aren't rare. we see a lot of blue peafowl (蓝孔雀) in china although they originally came from india. a common sight in zoos, these spectacular birds know how to "wow" us when they spread their long, colorful tail feathers.
the green peafowl, however, is a different species which might not even be on your environmental radar. few people know they are the very species that appeared in a peacock flying to the south-east (《孔雀东南飞》), a famous yuefu song of the han dynasty (汉乐府).
in the wild, the green peafowl is unique to yunnan province. it has been ranked as a category 1 endangered species since 1988. in spite of that, illegal mining and the building of dams could be destroying their last remaining habitats in china. very worryingly, the population of this rare species has decreased from around 1,000 in 1995 to less than 500 in 2018 — even much fewer than giant pandas.
i'm delighted that some people have recently taken legal action to protect these rare birds. friends of nature, a charity based in beijing, has asked the courts to halt (暂停) the construction of a hydro-electric dam (水电站坝) in yunnan's chuxiong yi nationality autonomous prefecture (楚雄彝族自治州). they claim that the dam will destroy the green peafowl's natural habitat. although the court decided to make a decision at a later date because of the complexity of the case, it is a good sign. the case shows that more people are starting to take notice of this rare species.
the conflict between economic development and ecological protection has been a global problem. in the u.k., the presence of a rare butterfly or newt (蝾螈) puts into question the path of a new motorway. coastal nations worry that wind farms endanger seabirds. gas pipelines in north america may be stopping migrating (迁徙的) animals from reaching their seasonal feeding grounds (觅食区).
hydro-electric dams, wind farms and coal mines might give us cheaper power. but if the decrease in energy prices is at the cost of the extinction (灭绝) of vulnerable species (易危物种), we need to think twice. at least for me, if i must make a choice between a hydro-power station and an endangered species, i will definitely choose the latter.
the green peafowl — and many other endangered species — need a bit of help from all of us. we cannot let written records and pictures become the only evidence that they ever existed.
1. have you ever seen a peacock spreading its tail feathers in the zoo? if so, share your experience(s) with your classmates.
2. how much do you know about the blue peafowl and the green peafowl? what are the differences between the two species?
the blue peafowl: fan-shaped crest (冠), white face, thin ribbed (罗纹的) neck feathers, barred (有不同颜色条纹的) wings, shorter legs
the green peafowl: upright tight crest, yellow face, scaled (有鳞的) neck feathers, solid black/blue wings, longer legs
1. a common sight in zoos①, these spectacular birds know how to "wow" us when they spread their long, colorful tail feathers②.
① a common sight in zoos在这个句子中充当these spectacular birds的同位成分，它的作用相当于一个非限制性定语从句，即these spectacular birds, which is a common sight in zoos, know how to ... 。
2. few people know they are the very① species that② appeared in a peacock flying to the south-east, a famous yuefu song of the han dynasty③.
① the very的意思是“正是那个，恰恰”，有强调的意味。
③ a famous yuefu song of the han dynasty在这个句子中作a peacock flying to the south-east的同位语，对其起到解释说明的作用。
complete each sentence using one word from the box in its correct form. note that there is one word more than you need and you can use each word only once.
originally appeared delighted recently decision presence
1. to the ________ of his parents, he has made a full recovery.
2. we might be hiring more people but nothing has been ________ yet.
3. i'll keep a copy of the contract, and give you the ________.
4. this house is big enough for the ________, but they'll have to move if they have children.
5. it ________ unlikely that the united nations would consider making such a move.
key: delight decided original present appears
2. 那位母亲牺牲了自己的生命把儿子从火中救了出来。(cost n.)
1. we lost the game, although everyone had tried their best.
2. the mother saved her son from the fire at the cost of her own life.
3. the phenomenon of not having enough to eat still exists in many countries and regions.
choose the best answer.
1. according to the article, the blue peafowl ______.
a. originally came from china
b. is unique to india in the wild
c. is ranked as a category 1 endangered species
d. is frequently seen in the zoos in china
2. according to the article, the reasons why the population of the green peafowl is decreasing include ______.
① illegal mining
② the building of dams
③ the construction of wind farms
④ the spreading of gas pipelines
a. ①② b. ①③
c. ②③ d. ②④
3. which of the following statements is incorrect?
a. the species mentioned in a peacock flying to the south-east is the green peafowl.
b. the local courts in chuxiong decided to stop the construction of the hydro-electric dam.
c. people need to find the balance between big construction projects and ecological protection.
d. if we do not take action to protect the green peafowl, our offspring might only know this species from written records.
collect information about the current living situation of the green peafowl in china. work in a group of four to six to design a poster for the protection of this species. present your results in class.
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