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# Park Ranger: When snowfall levels are below average

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Joined: 23 Sep 2015
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Park Ranger: When snowfall levels are below average  [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2018, 04:30
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Question Stats:

88% (01:36) correct 12% (01:49) wrong based on 99 sessions

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Park Ranger: When snowfall levels are below average during the winter months, scattered patches of the forest floor often remain exposed and accessible to scavenging wildlife. Because squirrels are able to collect nuts only in snow-free areas of the forest, the squirrel population tends to increase when there is below average snowfall. However, after last year’s unprecedented snow-free winter season, the squirrel population in this region was determined to be at a 20-year low.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the paradox above?

(A) When snowfall is above average, squirrel populations tend to diminish, as squirrels are unable to forage for food in snow-covered areas.
(B) The squirrels’ spring breeding season does not begin until all of the snow in the forest has melted.
(C) The red-tailed hawk, the squirrel’s most common predator, does not migrate south out of the forest until the first snowfall of the winter season.
(D) Forest squirrels rarely feed on fruits and berries, preferring nuts for their higher caloric content.
(E) The current system of estimating squirrel population size is thought to be extremely accurate in its projections.

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Re: Park Ranger: When snowfall levels are below average  [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2018, 05:31
aragonn wrote:
Park Ranger: When snowfall levels are below average during the winter months, scattered patches of the forest floor often remain exposed and accessible to scavenging wildlife. Because squirrels are able to collect nuts only in snow-free areas of the forest, the squirrel population tends to increase when there is below average snowfall. However, after last year’s unprecedented snow-free winter season, the squirrel population in this region was determined to be at a 20-year low.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the paradox above?

(A) When snowfall is above average, squirrel populations tend to diminish, as squirrels are unable to forage for food in snow-covered areas.
(B) The squirrels’ spring breeding season does not begin until all of the snow in the forest has melted.
(C) The red-tailed hawk, the squirrel’s most common predator, does not migrate south out of the forest until the first snowfall of the winter season.
(D) Forest squirrels rarely feed on fruits and berries, preferring nuts for their higher caloric content.
(E) The current system of estimating squirrel population size is thought to be extremely accurate in its projections.

Source - powerscore bible

The argument suggests,
Low level of snow fall = Many squirrels search for nuts in snow free areas
No Snow fall = Low squirrel population

Logic suggests,
Unprecedented snow-free winter has given rise to an unprecedented situation (lack of food/overflow of predators)

Option C says, the squirrel’s most common predator, does not migrate south out of the forest until the first snowfall of the winter season. This means that the squirrels are available in big numbers in snow free areas of the forest (that is everywhere). They are prone to attacks by the red-tailed hawk.
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Re: Park Ranger: When snowfall levels are below average  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2019, 10:50
I was between B & C:

My logic for B was “breeding season doesn’t begin until all the snow has melted”... since there was no snow to melt, there was no breeding season.

For C, although the hawk did not leave for these months, how does that explain a 20 year low!

I see the argument for both, but in my mind no breeding would lead to a more drastic delince than hawks not leaving. Can someone else comment?
Re: Park Ranger: When snowfall levels are below average   [#permalink] 05 Jan 2019, 10:50
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