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  Outfoxing the Foxes 智取狐狸
by Paul Hines
Man's best friend is now penguins' best friend.

  When Australia was colonized, early settlers took many different types of plants and animals there. These were used to establish farms, which were essential for the survival of the young colony. Unfortunately, many animals that were introduced escaped from captivity and had no natural predators. The plants also flourished at the expense of the native flora.
  Foxes in particular have wreaked havoc around the country. Modern farmers protect their livestock by using fox-proof fences and sheepdogs. Nevertheless, over six million foxes kill millions of native animals annually. Off the southern Australian coast, only a few hundred meters from the mainland, is a tiny island called Middle Island. Until the early 1990s, the only inhabitants were a flock of seagulls and a colony of penguins. That was until some foxes began making their way over to the island on a sandbar that occasionally appears. The foxes soon started to wipe out the penguins. The locals were shocked to discover that in one massacre alone, the foxes had killed 360 penguins. By 2006, only four penguins remained.
  Then, a local farmer hit upon the idea of using sheepdogs to protect what remained of the colony. Several sheepdogs were introduced to the penguins and soon became protective of their new friends. Sheepdogs bark at anything that approaches the penguins to warn them of danger, and consequently the population has rebounded back to around 150.
  The sheepdogs of Middle Island are truly appreciated by the locals. Eudy and Tula, two of the original sheepdogs, have now reached retirement age, so a crowdfunding campaign is underway to purchase and train two new sheepdogs. Also, look out for a movie called Oddball, which tells the story of how a remote country town and their sheepdogs outfoxed some foxes.

1. What reason is given for the introduction of foreign species to Australia?
(A) To colonize the country.
(B) To maintain the harmony of all species.
(C) To establish farms.
(D) To destroy native flora and fauna.
2. According to the article, which animals currently inhabit Middle Island?
(A) Seagulls, penguins, foxes and sheepdogs.
(B) Seagulls, penguins, and sheepdogs.
(C) Foxes, penguins, and sheepdogs.
(D) Seagulls, penguins, and foxes.
3. According to the passage, which of the following statements is true?
(A) Foxes have wiped out the penguins on Middle Island.
(B) Sheepdogs have been successful in protecting the penguins.
(C) The penguin population has returned to the same level it was before foxes reached the island.
(D) There is a small town named Middle Island.
4. Why has a crowdfunding campaign been established?
(A) To pay for Eudy and Tula's retirement.
(B) To find replacements for Eudy and Tula.
(C) To fund a movie called Oddball.
(D) To pay a farmer for an idea.

  1. be essential for...  對……至關重要
    Proper nutrition is essential for patients if they want to have a quick recovery.
    *nutrition n. 營養(不可數)
  2. wreak havoc (on...)  對……造成嚴重破壞
    wreak vt.(對某事物)造成騷亂
    havoc n. 大破壞;浩劫
    The severe storms have wreaked havoc on the crops.
  3. a flock of...  一群(羊、飛禽等)
    This morning, a flock of birds sat on a fence as if they had been waiting for a bus.
  4. wipe out...  徹底消滅∕毀滅……
    The health organization is launching a worldwide campaign to wipe out malaria in South Asia.
    *malaria n. 瘧疾
  5. hit upon / on...  突然想到……(主意等)
    Roger hit upon a great new idea for promoting the company's products.
  6. become / be protective of...  保護……
    The young couple is very protective of their child, which could make him a mama's boy.
  7. warn sb of sth  警告∕提醒某人某事
    衍: warn sb against...  警告∕提醒某人不要……
    The secretary warned the president of the possibility of revolution.
    The doctor warned Mr. Heller against the dangers of overeating.

Grammar Tips

The plants also flourished at the expense of the native flora.
at the expense of...  以……為代價,犧牲……
同: at the cost of...
= at the sacrifice of...
It's unwise of anyone to achieve something at the expense of his or her health.
Peter worked hard to build up his company at the cost of the relationship with his family.
The country's economy is quickly developing. However, this has happened at the sacrifice of the citizens' freedoms.

  1. outfox vt. 智取,以機智勝過
    同: outsmart vt.
    The older kids outfoxed the young ones when they were playing poker.
  2. colonize vt. 開拓殖民地
    The British first colonized Australia in the 18th century.
  3. colony n. 殖民地;群體
    衍: colonist n. 開拓殖民地者
    Vietnam used to be a colony, but now it is a sovereign country.
    *sovereign a. 主權獨立的
    There is a seal colony on that island.
    New Orleans was established by colonists from France.
  4. captivity n. 拘禁,囚禁
    衍: be held in captivity  監禁
    The girl felt pity for the animals in captivity at the zoo.
    Those hostages who were held in captivity ended up being executed by the terrorists.
  5. flourish vi. 茁壯成長;興旺,繁榮
    同: thrive vi.
    The cactus is one of the few plants that can flourish in the desert.
  6. inhabitant n. 居民
    衍: inhabit vt.(動物或人)居住於(某地)
    Our family lineage can be traced back to the early inhabitants of this island.
    *lineage n. 世系,血統,家系
    No human beings, not even animals, can inhabit that contaminated area.
    *contaminated a. 受汙染的
  7. occasionally adv. 偶爾,偶然
    同: on occasion
    Taking a few hours off work occasionally is a
    nice way to break up the monotony of everyday life.
    *monotony n. 單調乏味,千篇一律
  8. consequently adv. 因此,所以
    Nancy was consequently fined for walking her dog on the lawn.
  9. rebound vi. 回升,反彈
    衍: rebound on / upon sb
    Gold prices rebounded today after last week's losses.
    Linda's selfish behavior will rebound on her sooner or later.
  10. underway a. 在進行中的
    An investigation is underway to find out how the tragedy happened.
  11. harmony n. 和諧,融洽相處
    In order to improve work efficiency, all the staff members should work in harmony.

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flora n. (某一地點或時期的)植物群
衍: fauna n. (某一地點或時期的)動物群
sheepdog n. 牧羊犬
seagull n. 海鷗
sandbar n. (尤指河口的)沙洲,沙堤
massacre n. 大屠殺 & vt.(大規模地)屠殺,殺戮
crowdfunding n. 群眾募資
衍: crowdfund vt. 群眾募資





  尤其是狐狸,牠們已在全國各地造成嚴重破壞。現代農民藉由採用防狐狸柵欄和牧羊犬來保護他們的牲畜。不過每年仍有六百多萬隻狐狸捕殺數百萬隻原生動物。距離澳洲本土南方沿海僅數百公尺處有一座稱為中央島的小島。1990 年代初期以前,島上唯一的棲居動物是一群海鷗和企鵝。直到一些狐狸開始在偶爾浮現的沙洲上取道前往該島嶼後情況才變了樣。狐狸很快便開始獵殺企鵝。當地居民愕然發現,在單一一次的殘殺當中,狐狸竟已殺害了三百六十隻企鵝。到了 2006 年,僅有四隻企鵝存活下來。



1. 文中所提出引進外來物種到澳洲的理由為何?
(A) 為了殖民該國。
(B) 為了維持所有物種的和諧。
(C) 為了建立農場。
(D) 為了催毀當地的動植物群。
題解:根據本文第一段,人們利用這些動植物來建立農場,而這些農場對新殖民地的生存不可或缺,故 (C) 項應為正選。

2. 根據本文,哪一種動物目前棲居在中央島上?
(A) 海鷗、企鵝、狐狸和牧羊犬。
(B) 海鷗、企鵝和牧羊犬。
(C) 狐狸、企鵝和牧羊犬。
(D) 海鷗、企鵝和狐狸。
題解:根據本文第二段,1990 年代初期以前,島上唯一的棲居動物是一群海鷗和企鵝。直到一些狐狸開始在偶爾浮現的沙洲上取道前往該島嶼後情況才變了樣;而第三段提及數隻牧羊犬被引領到企鵝群之中且迅速成為保護牠們的新朋友,故 (A) 項應為正選。

3. 根據本文,下列哪一項敘述是正確的?
(A) 狐狸已把中央島上的企鵝滅絕了。
(B) 牧羊犬已成功保護了那些企鵝。
(C) 企鵝的總數已回升到狐狸登島前的相同數量。
(D) 有一個稱作中央島的小鎮。
題解:根據本文第三段,牧羊犬會對任何靠近企鵝的東西吠叫以示警,因此目前企鵝總數已回升到大約一百五十隻了,故 (B) 項應為正選。

4. 為什麼創立群眾募資的活動?
(A) 為了支付約迪和圖拉的退休生活。
(B) 為了找尋約迪和圖拉的替補。
(C) 為了資助一部名為《企鵝守護者:勇敢的牧羊犬》(暫譯)的電影。
(D) 為了向一名農夫花錢買點子。
題解:根據本文最後一段,約迪和圖拉這兩隻元老級的牧羊犬已到達退休年紀,因此民眾正著手進行一項群眾募資的活動以購買並訓練兩隻新的牧羊犬,故 (B) 項應為正選。

答案: 1. C 2. A 3. B 4. B

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