Interpretation exercises are an essential part of an interpreter’s training. This speech on the Iberian Lynx will help you practice your consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills. Note: The Speech starts STRAIGHT AWAY!
Topic(s): Animals, Zoology, Nature
Terms: Extinction rates, man-made hazards, ecosystem, intensive farming, construction, industrial activity, natural habitat, native species, biodiversity loss, Iberian lynx, endemic, Iberian Peninsula, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), feline, overhunting, poaching, prey, rabbit haemorrhagic disease, subpopulations, Andalusia, LIFE Iberlince
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Good For Practicing:
- Interpreting note-taking
- Simultaneous interpreting
- Non-standard accents
Also available on Speechpool.
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*Please check the script only after you’ve done the note-taking exercise, otherwise that’s cheating! 🙂
It is a well-documented fact that human action has caused, or at least accelerated, the extinction rates of many animal species around the world.
Man-made hazards come in various shapes and forms. Hunting and fishing were 2 of the earliest forms of interference with nature. The impact of human activity back then, thousands of years ago, was in many ways minimal, as for a while we humans were arguably an integral part of the ecosystem.
But what first started as a basic need for survival, eventually became something much greater, as evolution and progress expanded our ability to create – and destroy.
Intensive farming, construction, industrial activity, the exploitation of natural resources, etc, resulted in the destruction of several natural habitats, and continue to do so to this very day.
When a natural habitat becomes incapable of supporting its native species, the conditions necessary for animals and plants to survive are no longer there. Indeed, habitat destruction is considered to be the leading cause of Biodiversity loss.
Because of that, we all know that many animal species, while still in existence, are severely endangered. One prime example in Europe is the Iberian lynx, a species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula that has been on the verge of extinction for several decades. They are regarded by some sources, such as the Word Wide Fund for Nature, or WWF, as the most endangered feline on Earth.
As usual, habitat loss is regarded as one of the major reasons for the near disappearance of these wonderful creatures – one of the most beautiful wild cats in the world, if you ask me.
But there are other reasons too. For a long time, overhunting and poaching caused a declined in population; in addition, the Iberian lynx’s main prey – the European rabbit – has been suffering a similar fate, being not only a victim of overhunting and habitat loss too, but also of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease.
So, without a suitable habitat to live in and a severe scarcity of preys to hunt, the lynx went virtually extinct by the start of the new millennium: only 94 individuals survived in two isolated subpopulations in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.
Thankfully, the tide finally started to turn around that time. A new ambitious conservation project named ‘LIFE Iberlince’ was created. The project is partially backed up by the European Union and has a clear mission: to save the Iberian lynx from extinction by preserving their habitat, help rabbit populations to recover in Portugal and Spain and by the creation of specialised centres where lynxes are allowed to reproduce in a safe and controlled environment.
Nevertheless, a lot of work is yet to be done. While illegal hunting is still happening, the single biggest threat to the lynx’s survival right now are car accidents. Since 2014, more than 100 lynxes were reportedly hit by cars and found dead at the side of the roads. It’s a serious problem that unfortunately, despite some efforts, the Spanish and Portuguese authorities still haven’t managed to resolve.
Despite all that, we have reasons to be optimistic. So far, the numbers show that the project has had a considerable amount of success. Today there are 900 individuals in the wild, which represents a positive change of 800% in less than 20 years. In short, there’s room to believe it’s not too late to save the Iberian lynx.