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GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler

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GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2010, 18:35
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A
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  35% (medium)

Question Stats:

64% (02:07) correct 36% (01:07) wrong based on 157 sessions
(Sorry, if this is a repost. I searched the forum but couldn't find this question. Since this is a GMATPREP ques., there are chances that someone might have posted it as a JPG image. If so, please provide a pointer to the other thread)

Kate: The recent decline in numbers of the Tennessee warbler, a North American songbird that migrates each fall to coffee plantations in South America, is due to the elimination of dense tree cover that formerly was a feature of most South American coffee plantations.

Scott: The population of the spruce budworm, the warbler's favourite prey in North America, has been dropping. This is a more likely explanation of the warbler's decline.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously calls Scott's hypothesis into question?

A. The numbers of the Baltimore oriole, a songbird that does not eat budworms but is as dependent on South America coffee plantations as is the Tennessee warbler, are declining
B. The spruce budworm population has dropped because of a disease that can infect budworms but not Tennessee warblers
C. The drop in the population of the spruce budworm is expected to only be temporary
D. Many Tennessee warblers have begun migrating in the fall to places other than traditional coffee plantations
E. Although many North American songbirds have declined in numbers, no other species has experienced as great a decline as has the Tennessee warbler

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Between A and D, I fell for D. I ignored A for the reason that "the answer choice cannot be that simple(A familiar trap)". Any special tips on identifying cases when the answers could be simple and straight forward?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 20 Oct 2010, 19:26
There are some excellent explanations for this question here:
cr-tennessee-warbler-31709.html?hilit=Tennessee%20warbler#p554430
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2010, 09:17
I go with the D....
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 23:12
Kate::

Conclusion: Decline of Tennessee warbler is due to loss of tree cover South American coffee plantations.

Scott::

Conclusion: Warbler's decline is due to decline of population of the spruce budworm.
Premise: Spruce budworm is warbler's favorite prey in North America

Assumption1: Warblers do not have other major food source other than budworm
Assumption2: decline in favorite food source will cause Warblers to starve and decline in number.
Assumption3: Dense forest cover during migration is not important for Warbler's survival.

A. The numbers of the Baltimore oriole, a songbird that does not eat budworms but is as dependent on South America coffee plantations as is the Tennessee warbler, are declining
Strengthens conclusion 1 by giving example of another species affected for same reason but the parameter important for conclusion 2 is missing and makes the 2nd conclusion weak. Correct option
B. The spruce budworm population has dropped because of a disease that can infect budworms but not Tennessee warblers
Does not affect the 2nd conclusion
C. The drop in the population of the spruce budworm is expected to only be temporary
Irrelevant & does not affect 2nd conclusion
D. Many Tennessee warblers have begun migrating in the fall to places other than traditional coffee plantations
Irrelevant & does not affect 2nd conclusion. Does not talk about decline in number. Out of scope.
E. Although many North American songbirds have declined in numbers, no other species has experienced as great a decline as has the Tennessee warbler
Irrelevant & does not affect 2nd conclusion
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 23:27
A.

In my opinion, D does weaken Scott's hypothesis somewhat by suggesting another reason for the declining number of birds; however, A is a better choice because A weakens Scott's hypothesis by directly negating his argument which suggest that the declining number of the budworm is the reason for why the number of the bird is declining.
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2010, 03:13
Got it right.Thanks.
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2011, 11:48
Could someone explain why #4 does not weaken Scott's argument but #1 does? I don't get it.
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2012, 21:19
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smodak wrote:
Could someone explain why #4 does not weaken Scott's argument but #1 does? I don't get it.

The argument can be summarized as follows:
Kate: Elimination of dense tree cover -> Decline in numbers of Tennessee warbler
Scott: Decline in population of spruce budworm -> Decline in numbers of Tennessee warbler

D. Many Tennessee warblers have begun migrating in the fall to places other than traditional coffee plantations

Now option D says that Tennessee warblers have begun migrating to other places. This is not relevant to Scott' point. He states that the decline in the population of the spruce budworm only has caused the decline in the numbers of the Tennessee warbler. So in order to weaken his argument, it is important to show that the decline in the population of the spruce budworm has nothing to do with the decline in the population of the Tennessee warbler. D does not mention anything along those lines. All it says is that the warblers go to different places. It does not, thus, negate or make less likely, Scott's argument. IMO, it does, in fact, weaken Kate's argument by stating that even the tree plantations have nothing to do with the recent decline in the population of the warbler.

A. The numbers of the Baltimore oriole, a songbird that does not eat budworms but is as dependent on South America coffee plantations as is the Tennessee warbler, are declining

A states that a bird similar to the Tennessee warbler has experienced a similar decline in numbers. The similarity between the Baltimore oriole and the Tennessee warbler is that both the birds are dependent on the coffee plantations. The difference is that the Baltimore oriole is NOT dependent on the spruce budworms.
Now, if the elimination of the tree cover in the coffee plantation were to be the cause, it would affect both the Tennessee warbler and the Baltimore oriole. Similarly, if the decline in the population of the spruce budworm were to be the cause, then it would affect only the Tennessee warbler, not the Baltimore oriole because the oriole is not dependent on the budworm.
However, the statement shows that even the oriole has experienced a decline in numbers. This indicates that the decline in the population of the budworm is not likely to be the cause for the decline in the numbers of either bird. Thus, Scott's argument is weakened.


Hope this helps.
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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2014, 16:23
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Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: GMATPREP CR: Decline in Tennessee warbler   [#permalink] 26 Apr 2014, 16:23
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