Still hope for an endangered porpoise species 瀕危物種加灣鼠海豚仍有望免於滅絕

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加灣鼠海豚是世界上最稀有的海洋哺乳動物。一項基因研究顯示,這個瀕危物種仍有望免於滅絕,儘管野生的加灣鼠海豚總數隻剩 10 頭。

The tiny, silvery porpoise known as the vaquita is facing an existential threat from becoming entangled and killed in fishing nets. And with fewer than a dozen vaquitas left in waters off the coast of Mexico, time is running out to save the species.

這種被稱作 「加灣鼠海豚」 的小巧銀色鼠海豚正面臨被漁網纏住致死的生存威脅。墨西哥海岸附近的水域中只剩下不到12頭加灣鼠海豚,拯救這一物種的時間不多了。

But now a glimmer of hope. A study of DNA samples obtained over the past few decades suggests the animals are naturally genetically fitter than expected for such a small population and should be able to bounce back from extinction.

但現在,加灣鼠海豚仍有望免於滅絕,一項對過去幾十年來獲得的基因樣本進行的研究表明,對數量如此稀少的種群來說,加灣鼠海豚的基因比預想得更健康,因此數量應該可以回升,從而免於滅絕。

The researchers, based in California, say we now face a choice either to enforce protection measures to save the vaquita or watch the last of the kind die out.

總部位於加利福尼亞州的研究人員說,我們現在面臨一個選擇:要嘛採取保護措施拯救加灣鼠海豚,要嘛眼睜睜地看著最後一頭滅絕。

詞彙表

silvery 銀色的
existential 關乎生死的
entangled 被纏住
dozen 十二,一打
extinction 滅絕
measures 措施

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. What does the vaquita look like?

2. What things are threatening the survival of the vaquitas?

3. How many vaquitas are left in the waters off the coast of Mexico?

4. What did DNA samples reveal about the vaquita?

答案  

1. What does the vaquita look like?
The vaquita is tiny and silver-coloured.

2. What things are threatening the survival of the vaquitas?
Getting trapped and dying in fishing nets.

3. How many vaquitas are left in the waters off the coast of Mexico?
Less than a dozen.

4. What did DNA samples reveal about the vaquita?
For such a small population, they are genetically fitter than expected.