Our Republic’s fauna and flora are very rich. There are 500 kinds of plants and animals in the taiga, the steppe [step], the semi-desert (ïîëóïóñòûíÿ) and in the mountainous areas. They are Caspian seals [si:lz] and desert tortoises, the ancient steppe antelope saiga (ñàéãàê) and the taiga bear, the pink flamingo and snow leopard. There are many types of fish in Kazakhstan too.
The antelope’s horns are used in medicine and many years ago thousands of them were killed in Kazakhstani steppes. That’s why antelopes are disappearing. Nowadays, wild animals are also in danger because foreign hunters often come to our country for hunting roe-deer, wild donkeys (àðõàð), wild goats (ãîðíûé êîçåë) and other animals.
To organize hunting for foreign hunters is a very profitable (âûãîäíûé) business. But it is not well organized in our country. Only sick and weak animals may be hunted at a special license, and only in the areas where there are a lot of such animals. We are sorry, but the hunting rules are often broken, and we try to protect our animals. There are eight law protected territories (çàïîâåäíèêè), 2 national parks and dozens (äåñÿòêè) of specialized farms.
a) Plants and animals in the taiga, the steppe, the semi-desert and the forest zones.
b) Only sick and weak animals and birds may be hunted, and only in he areas where there are a lot of such animals.
c) Nowadays wild and domestic animals are in danger.
Ø According to the passage:
a. (little, many, poor) kinds of plants grow in the taiga, the steppe, the semi-desert and the mountain zones.
b. Only (sick, healthy, strong, big) animals may be hunted and only in the areas where there are a lot of such animals.
c. There are many (schools, prides, flocks) of fish in our seas and lakes.
d. Hunting is a very (poor, advantageous, rich) business.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT EAST KAZAKHSTAN ANIMALS LIVE “BAROMETERS”
Plenty of animals are very sensitive to the changes of weather.
Our saygaks (a kind of mountain elk), for example, are famous as live “barometers”. Their difficult nomadic life made them unusually adapted. It isn’t a surprise, that thousands of cattle-breeders composed a lot of legends about these animals.
Different shepherds often look at their behavior. If in winter they start migrating to the desert, a hard snowstorm will start soon. But if they go to the south, it will be a drought. If they are in the north for a long time, autumn will be late. In spring people don’t let their cattle go to the north, till saygaks don’t start moving there.
These wild animals can do unbelievable things in summer, when they are looking for winter. Saygaks often spend summers in deserts, where the weather is hot, and the sky is clear. There seems to be not a cloud on the horizon, and suddenly all these animals disappear. In a few days we find out that ten kilometers from that place, where saygaks had been recently been, it started to rain.
WHAT A GOOD SENSE THEY HAVE TO FEEL WATER 40-50 KILOMETRES AWAY!
Believe me, it is not a fairy tale. These are true facts, the result of long standing observation.
Now the scientists have a very interesting idea to have a flock of these live “barometers” nearby in order to forecast the weather by observing their behavior. They are sure that this forecast will be accurate.
Ø True, false or don’t know:
- Only weather forecast can predict the weather.
- Saygaks are considered to be live barometers.
- Saygaks were very helpful for the weathermen.
- Summers are spent by saygaks in deserts.
- If saygaks stay long in the south, autumn will be late.
- The drought will be if saygaks go to the south.
Ø Complete the sentences with one word from the text:
- Plenty of __ are sensible to the change of weather.
- A lot of __ are composed about saygaks.
- Different __ often look at their behavior.
- In spring cattle is not taken to the north till __ go there.
- Saygaks have a good __ to feel water 40 -50 kilometres away.
- The scientists are sure of having accurate forecast if __ live nearby.
Ø Make up 5 questions of different types to the text (general, disjunctive, alternative, special, to the subject).
Ø Write a short summary of the text.
Ø Give other examples how to predict the weather in your area.
PART VII: RARE BIRDS AND ANIMALS OF KAZAKHSTAN (ENTERED IN “RED BOOK”)
The Golden Eagle (
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known rare birds of East Kazakhstan. Once it was widespread but now it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas. Despite being extirpated from some its former habitat, the species is still present in Eurasia, North America, and parts of Africa. These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. Golden Eagles use their speed and extreme power to hunt rabbits, marmots, ground squirrels, and large mammals such as foxes, wild and domestic cats, mountain goats and young deer. They will also eat carrion as well as reptiles. Birds, including large species up to the size of swans and cranes as well as ravens and gulls have all been recorded as prey. They have even been known to attack and kill fully grown deer. The Eurasian subspecies is used to hunt and kill wolves in many native villages, where they are regarded as great mystic reverence. Golden Eagles have been used in falconry since the Middle Ages. In Asia, they were used in teams to hunt such animals as deer, antelope and wolves, while their use was reserved for Emperors in Europe. They can be trained for falconry.
Ø Answer the questions:
1. Where do Golden Eagles live?
2. What do they look like?
3. What do they eat?
4. How are the Eagles used by people?
5. What can they be trained for?
Ø Match the word and the definition:
1. Falconry a) living with people
2. Carrion b) not real
3. Mystic c) hunting with the help of birds
4. Mammals d) living in nature
5. Wild e) animals which breed their youths with milk
6. Domestic f) dead birds or animals
Ø Correct the statements:
1. Golden Eagle is spread all over the world.
2. Golden Eagle uses its speed and power to breed chickens.
3. They never eat carrion.
4. They have been used for falconry since ancient times.
Demoiselle Crane (
Demoiselle Crane is a specially protected species of crane in the world. In summer it breeds in Central Asia and can be found in Kazakhstan as well. In winter it migrates to India, Cyprus and eastern Turkey.
In late August they gather in flocks of up to 400 individuals and prepare for their winter flight. They have to cross the Himalayan Mountains, where many of them die from fatigue, hunger and predators such as eagles.
In March and April, they begin their long spring journey back to their northern nesting grounds. In Kazakhstan this beautiful bird nests in dry grasslands of South-East, such as marshes, steppes, and meadows not far from water.
The Demoiselle Crane is the smallest species of crane. It is 85–100 cm long with a 155–180 cm wingspan. It weighs 2–3 kg. It has a long white stripe of plume on its neck and the black on the fore neck.
Ø Decide whether the following sentences True (t) or False (f). Correct the false one:
1. Demoiselle Crane nests in Kazakhstan in winter.
2. They usually migrate in flocks of up 400 individuals.
3. Many of individuals die during their winter fight.
4. The Demoiselle Crane is the largest species of crane.
Ø Match the word with the definition below:
1. To protect a) to produce; give birth to.
2. To breed b) to keep from being damaged attacked, stolen or injured
3. A nest c) a container or shelter made by a bird to hold its eggs and young birds
4. Predator d) a feather, especially a large one.
5. Plume e) an organism that lives by preying on other organisms.
Ø Discuss the following questions in pairs:
1. Have you ever heard or seen the Demoiselle Crane?
2. What countries does it migrate to?
3. What parts of Kazakhstan does it prefer nesting in?
4. What does it look like?
5. What else can you say about the Demoiselle Crane?
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (
The Great White Pelican, also known as the Eastern White Pelican or White Pelican is a bird in the pelican family. It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes.
Great White Pelicans are large birds with mass of 10 kg, 160 cm long and with a 280 cm wingspan. It has pure white plumage, a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs. Males are larger than females, and have a long beak. Immature birds are grey and have dark flight feathers. In breeding condition the male has pinkish skin on its face and the female has orangery skin.
The Great White Pelican is well adapted for aquatic life. The long-winged pelicans are powerful fliers. The pelican's pouch is simply a scoop, which fills with water and fish. A group of 6 to 8 great white pelicans will gather in the water to feed together. Large numbers of these pelicans breed together in colonies. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs. They make stick nests in trees. The young are cared for by both parents.
Migratory populations are found from Eastern Europe to Kazakhstan during the breeding season. Great white pelicans are exploited for many reasons. Their pouch is used to make tobacco bags. Their skin is turned into leather and the fat of young pelicans is converted into oils for traditional medicine in China and India. Human disturbance, loss of foraging habitat and breeding sites, and pollution are all contributing to the decline of the Great White Pelican.
1. What is the Great White Pelican?
2. What does it look like?
3. Who are larger males or females?
4. Where are migratory populations found?
5. What contributes to the decline of the Great White Pelican?
Ø Complete the sentences:
1. The Great White Pelican is a bird in the pelican …
2. It breeds in swamps and …
3. It has pure white …
4. The young are cared for …
5. Migratory populations are found from Eastern Europe to …