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There are recent reports of apparently drastic declines in amphibian

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Re: There are recent reports of apparently drastic declines in amphibian  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 08:02
3/4 on the first 4 questions in 10:13 Total 12:23 on the 6 questions and 5/6 overall. Got the first question wrong because I somehow thought the word allay was to bring attention when in fact it means the exact opposite! Ouch.
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New post 28 Feb 2019, 14:17
Turkish wrote:
Can anyone help me with q4?

Not sure why D is true


4. According to the passage, each of the following is true of endangered amphibian species EXCEPT:

(A) They are among the rarest kinds of amphibians.=> An endangered population is always rare, almost always small, and, by definition, under constant threat of extinction even without a proximate cause in human activities.

(B) They generally have populations that are small in size.=> An endangered population is always rare, almost always small, and, by definition, under constant threat of extinction even without a proximate cause in human activities.

(C) They are in constant danger of extinction.=> An endangered population is always rare, almost always small, and, by definition, under constant threat of extinction even without a proximate cause in human activities.

(D) Those with decreasing populations are the most likely candidates for immediate extinction.=> This is not mentioned by passage then it is the answer, the question is asking about irrelevant info (Except)

(E) The are in danger of extinction due to events that sometimes have nothing to do with human activities.=> An endangered population is always rare, almost always small, and, by definition, under constant threat of extinction even without a proximate cause in human activities.
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New post 02 Mar 2019, 01:48
bpdulog wrote:
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) assess the validity of a certain view
(B) distinguish between two phenomena
(C) identify the causes of a problem
(D) describe a disturbing trend
(E) allay concern about a particular phenomenon

Why is B wrong? Most of the passage is explaining the difference between decline in population and extinction


B is wrong because, critically, the question is asking for the primary purpose of the passage.

The primary purpose of the passage is to assess the claims made in the first paragraph, whereas explaining any difference between declines in population & extinction is surely secondary. The author indicates that this is an evaluation in para 2 when he/she states, "To evaluate these claims...". He/She then goes on to offer a number of different criticisms/evaluations of the arguments made in paragraph 1, arguments which constitute the remainder of the passage.

Hope it helps :)

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) assess the validity of a certain view 
Correct, “evaluate these claims” mentioned in para 2, which the author then goes on to do for remainder of passage

(B) distinguish between two phenomena 
difference between extinction & decline red herring here, this is secondary – the author’s purpose is to evaluate claims made in para 1

(C) identify the causes of a problem 
author isn’t primarily concerned with identifying causes of decline/ extinctions; he indicates a few in paras 2 & 3 but he is trying to evaluate the conclusions drawn from the trends, not what underlying causes are

(D) describe a disturbing trend 
this misses the point, author clearly mentions he is evaluating the claims trend, and does so by offering counter arguments

(E) allay concern about a particular phenomenon 
although concerns re. this trend may be somewhat allayed by his criticisms, final para indicates that we don’t have great data & we may doom species if there’s inaction, undermining this answer. Moreover, his primary aim is to get to the truth about the claims, rather than persuade the reader that they shouldn’t be concerned.
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New post 02 Mar 2019, 02:17
Question 2
2. It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following to be true of the environmentalists mentioned in lines 5-6?

(A) They have wrongly chosen to focus on anecdotal reports rather than on the long-term data that are currently available concerning amphibians.
Specifically states “there is not enough long-term scientific data” - incorrect

(B) Their recommendations are flawed because their research focuses too narrowly on a single category of animal species.
Para 3, “persistent declines, especially in large populations, indicate a changed ecological context” – so large population declines can indicate bad news – answer incorrect

(C) Their certainty that population declines in general are caused by environmental degradation is not warranted.
Watch-out words – “certainty” & “in general” – passage doesn’t indicate these environmentalists are certain (a very binary claim), or that population declines in general are caused by degradation – they are suggesting that this specific decline in amphibian population is an indicator of environmental degradation.

(D) They have drawn premature conclusions concerning a crisis in amphibian populations from recent reports of declines.
Correct – author argues in passage that their conclusions might be false & may in fact be indicative of e.g. normal fluctuations in population. He/she doesn’t fully dismiss these claims however, therefore can be inferred that he believes they are ‘premature’ – meaning conclusions have been drawn too soon without enough data.

(E) They have overestimated the effects of chance events on trends in amphibian populations.
Author states that there may be ‘random factors’ involved in this trend; this is not attributed to environmentalists
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New post 22 Mar 2019, 04:23
Hey aragonn can you please brief why in Q2 C is wrong ?
Since the author does make a point that several factors could have led to this effect but clearly there ain't enough evidence to prove that this is case of environmental degradation.
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New post 14 Apr 2019, 04:01
AjiteshArun pikolo2510 GMATNinja manishasingh
Can you please help in Q2 C vs D and Q3 D vs E
Why C is trap in Q2 ?
and D in Q3 ?
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Re: There are recent reports of apparently drastic declines in amphibian  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 06:10
idkksh wrote:
There are recent reports of apparently drastic declines in amphibian populations and of extinctions of a number of the world's endangered amphibian species. These declines, if real, may be signs of a general trend toward extinction, and many environmentalists have claimed that immediate environmental action is necessary to remedy this "amphibian crisis", which, in their view, is an indicator of general and catastrophic environmental degradation due to human activity.


2. It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following to be true of the environmentalists mentioned in lines 5-6?

(A) They have wrongly chosen to focus on anecdotal reports rather than on the long-term data that are currently available concerning amphibians.

To me, this is a very tempting answer (I chose it :facepalm_man:) The first paragraph says the environmentalists are calling it this an "amphibian crisis," which sounds pretty dramatic and premature. To me, it sounds like these environmentalists are a bit excited and overreacting to the reports that populations are declining. They want to get involved and have "immediate environmental action." Let's hold this one.

(B) Their recommendations are flawed because their research focuses too narrowly on a single category of animal species.

"Their research" jumped out at me. Do we know that this is the environmentalists research? Nope. The environmentalists are just reacting to the release of said research.

(C) Their certainty that population declines in general are caused by environmental degradation is not warranted.

May or may not be true. We don't really know all of the factors. Environmental degradation could certainly be a major factor.

(D) They have drawn premature conclusions concerning a crisis in amphibian populations from recent reports of declines.

The author definitely thinks they are drawing a premature conclusion. 2nd sentence in 2nd paragraph: "A declining population should not be confused with an endangered one." This passage opens up with the author saying that environmentalists are all up in arms about this "amphibian crisis," and then the author counters the environmentalists with historical data and is basically saying that they should "hold their horses," but at the same time, there's not much that we do know for sure.

This is definitely inferred.


(E) They have overestimated the effects of chance events on trends in amphibian populations.

Similar to (D), they are overreacting, but not necessarily "overestimating the effects of chance events." The envionmentalists don't claim anything about "chance events" in this paragraph.

Between (A) and (D)...

(A) They have put too much focus on the reports of amphibian population decline.

(D) They drew premature conclusion concerning amphibian population decline.

I see how (D) is better now, but would love GMATNinja to provide a better explanation.

Hopefully this helps someone... I just wanted to write down my thoughts.

idkksh wrote:
There are recent reports of apparently drastic declines in amphibian populations and of extinctions of a number of the world's endangered amphibian species. These declines, if real, may be signs of a general trend toward extinction, and many environmentalists have claimed that immediate environmental action is necessary to remedy this "amphibian crisis", which, in their view, is an indicator of general and catastrophic environmental degradation due to human activity.

To evaluate these claims, it is useful to make a preliminary distinction that is far too often ignored. A declining population should not be confused with an endangered one. An endangered population is always rare, almost always small, and, by definition, under constant threat of extinction even without a proximate cause in human activities. Its disappearance, however unfortunate, should come as no great surprise. Moreover, chance events—which may indicate nothing about the direction of trends in population size—may lead to its extinction. The probability of extinction due to such random factors depends on the population size and is independent of the prevailing direction of change in that size.

For biologists, population declines are potentially more worrisome than extinctions. Persistent declines, especially in large populations, indicate a changed ecological context. Even here, distinctions must again be made among declines that are only apparent (in the sense that they are part of habitual cycles or of normal fluctuations), declines that take a population to some lower but still acceptable level, and those that threaten extinction (e.g., by taking the number of individuals below the minimum viable population). Anecdotal reports of population decreases cannot distinguish among these possibilities, and some amphibian populations have shown strong fluctuations in the past.

It is Indisputably true that there is simply not enough long-term scientific data on amphibian populations to enable researches to identify real declines in amphibian populations. Many fairly common amphibian species declared all but extinct after severe declines in the 1950s and 1960s have subsequently recovered, and so might the apparently declining populations that have generated the current appearance of an amphibian crisis. Unfortunately, long-term data will not soon be forthcoming, and postponing environmental action while we wait for it may doom species and whole ecosystems to extinction.

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Re: There are recent reports of apparently drastic declines in amphibian   [#permalink] 16 Apr 2019, 06:10

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