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Naturalist: For several years, coyote have had a robust population

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Naturalist: For several years, coyote have had a robust population [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2015, 08:32
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E

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  45% (medium)

Question Stats:

68% (01:24) correct 32% (01:35) wrong based on 329 sessions

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Naturalist: For several years, coyote have had a robust population throughout the Susquehanna National Forest. Over the past seven years, the Canic Chemical Corporation in nearby Harrisville has been releasing low levels of bromide compounds into the air and groundwater. Some of these compounds, in sufficient concentrations, are suspected of compromising the immune systems of young coyote. A recent study over the entire forest established that 30% of young coyote did not survive their first year of life. Clearly, the bromide compounds released by Canic pose a direct threat to the well-being of coyote in the forest.

The answer to which of the following would be most useful for evaluating the naturalist's reasoning?

A) Have significant levels of these bromide compounds been measured in the blood of other mammals in the forest?
B) To what parts of the forest does the wind carry the particulate form of these bromide compounds?
C) How many of the natural springs in the forest derive from groundwater that flows in the vicinity of Harrisville?
D) What naturally available nutrients would strengthen the immune system of young coyote against any effects of these bromide compounds?
E) What percentage of healthy coyote survive to adulthood in the wild?

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Re: Naturalist: For several years, coyote have had a robust population [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2016, 15:05
i would go with option E as it appears to evaluate the argument properly.It helps in understanding whether bromide is affecting the adult population of coyote as well as or not
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Re: Naturalist: For several years, coyote have had a robust population [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2017, 19:47
The naturalist's argument hinges on the recent study that shows 30% of young coyotes didn't make it to adulthood. While the suggested factor that results in this 30% was the release of the bromide compound, there is no reference point; we don't know if that number went up or, possibly, down. What if prior to the release of the compound, 50% of young coyote never made it into adulthood? Then it could be that the bromide is in some way helping the young coyotes survive.

The point is that E addresses a major issue in siding with the naturalist and it is an important piece of information to establish to properly test for the naturalist's reasoning.
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Naturalist: For several years, coyote have had a robust population [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2018, 08:42

MAGOOSH OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:



The naturalist is clearly trying to sound an alarm, pointing to a problem that should concern us. The credited answer is (E). The big piece of evidence is: 30% of young coyote did not survive their first year of life. How does that percent compare to a normal natural rate? If, under the best, more environmentally pure, circumstance, some number close to 30% of first-year coyotes don't survive, then what's happening in this forest is not all that different than what usually happens, and the naturalist seems be making a great deal of chin music for nothing. If a much lower percent of first-year coyotes typically dies, and 30% is a unusually high number, then that underscores the urgency of the naturalist's claim. The answer to this question has strong implications for the strength of the argument, so this is a very important point to evaluate.

Choice (A) is suggestive. This argument is about the coyote, so what is happening with other mammals is only marginally relevant. Choice (A) is incorrect.

The argument concerns coyote over the whole forest. Even if wild-blown bromide compounds do no reach some parts of the forest, the bromide compounds in the groundwater may still reach those places. Knowing the answer to this question would still leave other important questions open, so it's not a crucial evaluation question. Choice (B) is incorrect.

Choice (C) is phrased in a funny way. Suppose we knew the answer --- suppose, say, someone with data about the region could tell us: exactly 15 springs in the forest derive from groundwater that flows in the vicinity of Harrisville. If we knew that number, then what? We still wouldn't be able to evaluate the argument. Choice (C) is incorrect.

IF the bromine compounds really pose a problem, then the question in choice (D) would be important for solving the problem. The question we need to answer first, though, is: is the argument correct? is the naturalist right? do the bromine compounds really pose a problem? Before we can solve the problem, we need to know that there is a problem! Choice (D) does not address the more fundamental question: is the naturalist correct? It does not help us evaluate the naturalist's argument.
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Naturalist: For several years, coyote have had a robust population   [#permalink] 24 May 2018, 08:42
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