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Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc

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Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc [#permalink]

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Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Scotia declined dramatically. Wildlife biologists studying the decline could find no signs of disease or undernourishment, so it is likely that the decline was caused by increased predation. Coyotes prefer to hunt larger mammals such as deer and elk, but it is well known that the deer population in Nova Scotia declined substantially in that period because of chronic wasting disease, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting the herd. Therefore, it is likely that coyotes were the cause of the dramatic decline in the rabbit population.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument above?

A. Despite a substantial decline in the deer population between 2000 and 2010, there were still enough deer to support the coyote population in the region.
B. It is difficult for most wildlife biologists to properly assess whether the decline of an animal population is caused by disease or undernourishment.
C. Between 2000 and 2010, the rabbit population on several islands off the coast that are inaccessible to coyotes did not decline.
D Coyotes are known to eat mice and other vermin, ground birds, insects, and even fish.
E. Since 2010, the rabbit population has recovered well while the deer population has declined even further.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 06:54
A B weakens
D irrelevant
E irrelevant
C strengthens by giving evidence that other places did not see the rabbit decline as coyotes could not access the place

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Re: Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 07:27
Imo C
It gives us information that the population on other island did not decline because there were no predators .
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Re: Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 20:09
Well done arvind910619 and prachi18oct

Official explanation from Veritas
It gives us information that the population on other island did not decline because there were no predators .[/quote]
In this argument, it is concluded that predation by coyotes was the cause of the rabbit decline in Nova Scotia between 2000 and 2010. However, the evidence for this conclusion is quite weak. While disease and undernourishment are eliminated as causes of the decline, it is entirely possible that the decline was caused by a different predator. While deer, the preferred prey for coyotes, did decline in this period, this does not prove that coyotes were responsible for the rabbit decline. Therefore, the correct answer should be something that gives additional evidence supporting coyote predation as the cause of the decline. For (A), if this were true, then it would suggest that coyotes were NOT responsible for the rabbit decline as they would still be able to feed off the deer, their preferred prey. For (B), this answer choice addresses the possibility that wildlife biologists might have missed some cause relating to disease or malnourishment. However, if this is true and the decline was indeed caused by one of these things, that would weaken not strengthen the conclusion.

For (C), this gives additional evidence supporting the conclusion. If there was a place that coyotes were not present over that period and in that place the rabbit population did not decline, this helps build the case that indeed coyotes were the cause. Remember: the given argument provides no evidence that the cause was coyote predation; the only evidence is "it wasn't one of these two things that aren't coyote predation." So any evidence that ties coyote presence closer to rabbit decline is helpful. For (D), whatever else coyotes might eat is not relevant, as you don’t know what happened to those populations and how that would affect coyote predation of rabbits. For (E), whatever happened since 2010 is not important, as this argument is only concerned with explaining a decline during the particular period from 2000 to 2010. The correct answer is (C)
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Re: Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 05:09
Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Scotia declined dramatically. Wildlife biologists studying the decline could find no signs of disease or undernourishment, so it is likely that the decline was caused by increased predation. Coyotes prefer to hunt larger mammals such as deer and elk, but it is well known that the deer population in Nova Scotia declined substantially in that period because of chronic wasting disease, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting the herd. Therefore, it is likely that coyotes were the cause of the dramatic decline in the rabbit population.

Type - Strengthen
Boil it down- coyotes were the cause of the dramatic decline in the rabbit population.
Pre-thinking - In absence of coyotes(cause ) , the (effect) decline in the rabbit population is absent too

A. Despite a substantial decline in the deer population between 2000 and 2010, there were still enough deer to support the coyote population in the region. - Weakens
B. It is difficult for most wildlife biologists to properly assess whether the decline of an animal population is caused by disease or undernourishment. - Irrelevant
C. Between 2000 and 2010, the rabbit population on several islands off the coast that are inaccessible to coyotes did not decline. - Correct - In absence of the cause , the effect does not exist
D Coyotes are known to eat mice and other vermin, ground birds, insects, and even fish. - Incorrect - it can be considered a mild weakener
E. Since 2010, the rabbit population has recovered well while the deer population has declined even further. - Out of scope - post 2010 era is out of scope

Answer C
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Re: Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2017, 05:09
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Between 2000 and 2010 the rabbit population along the coast of Nova Sc

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