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VOA慢速英语:兔耳袋狸一个多世纪以来首次重返野外

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2018年12月13日

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Threatened Australian Animal Back in the Wild for the First Time in a Century

兔耳袋狸一个多世纪以来首次重返野外

For the first time in more than a century, bilbies are running wild in Southeastern Australia.

一个多世纪以来,兔耳袋狸首次奔跑在了澳大利亚的南部地区。

The small animals were once widespread across much of Australia, but were last observed in the wild in New South Wales state in 1912.

这种小动物曾经广泛分布在澳大利亚的大部分国土,但是最后一次在野外看到它,是在1912年的新南威尔士州。

Every year bilby populations continue to decrease. Wildlife experts are afraid that the bilby, a small marsupial, could eventually disappear forever, either because of land clearing or fires. Another reason is a threat from cats and foxes, which hunt down and kill bilbies.

兔耳袋狸种群每年都在缩减。野生动物专家担心兔耳袋狸这种小型有袋动物可能会因为开垦土地或火灾而永久灭绝。另一个原因是来自猫和狐狸的威胁,它们捕杀兔耳袋狸。

In northern New South Wales state, environmentalists are celebrating what they are calling a historic moment.

在新南威尔士州北部,环保主义者正在庆祝他们所谓的历史性时刻。

Thirty bilbies from a captive breeding program have been released into a large predator-free enclosed area north of Sydney.

来自圈养繁殖项目的30只兔耳袋狸已经被放生到了悉尼北部一处没有捕食动物的大型封闭区域。

Without the protection of a 32-kilometer fence, experts say the animals probably would not survive.

专家们称,如果没有这32公里围栏的保护,这些动物可能无法生存。

Tim Allard heads the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, which is involved in the project.

Tim Allard是参与该项目的澳大利亚野生动物保护协会的会长。

He says the release of these beloved animals is a big deal.

他说,放生这些心爱的动物是一件大事。

"Bilbies only really survive behind fenced areas. There are some remaining wild bilby populations, but they get predated upon heavily by feral cats and foxes."

他说:“兔耳袋狸只能在围栏区域生存下来。目前还存在一些野生的兔耳袋狸种群,但是它们受到了夜猫和狐狸的严重掠食。”

Allard said the point of doing this project is to return the countryside to what it used to be before Europeans arrived.

Allard表示,做这个项目的目的是让郊外恢复到欧洲人抵达之前的状态。

"So in the not-too-distant future, you will be able to go inside the fenced area and it will be like stepping back before Europeans turned up," he said.

他说:“因此在不久的将来,你将能够进入围栏区域,就像回到了欧洲人出现之前一样。”

Bilbies are known for their long ears and large back legs. They usually sleep during the day, and are awake at night. They look a lot like rabbits and grow to about 2.5 kilograms.

兔耳袋狸以其长长的耳朵和大大的后腿而闻名。它们通常在昼伏夜出,看起来很像兔子,能长到2.5公斤左右。

Australia has one of the world's worst rates of mammal extinctions. The bilby project is seen as an important part in protecting the nation's wildlife.

澳大利亚是世界上哺乳动物灭绝率最高的国家之一。兔耳袋狸被视为该国野生动物保护的重要组成部分。

I'm Susan Shand.

苏珊·珊德报道。

For the first time in more than a century, bilbies are running wild in Southeastern Australia.

The small animals were once widespread across much of Australia, but were last observed in the wild in New South Wales state in 1912.

Every year bilby populations continue to decrease. Wildlife experts are afraid that the bilby, a small marsupial, could eventually disappear forever, either because of land clearing or fires. Another reason is a threat from cats and foxes, which hunt down and kill bilbies.

In northern New South Wales state, environmentalists are celebrating what they are calling a historic moment.

Thirty bilbies from a captive breeding program have been released into a large predator-free enclosed area north of Sydney.

Without the protection of a 32-kilometer fence, experts say the animals probably would not survive.

Tim Allard heads the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, which is involved in the project.

He says the release of these beloved animals is a big deal.

“Bilbies only really survive behind fenced areas. There are some remaining wild bilby populations, but they get predated upon heavily by feral cats and foxes.”

Allard said the point of doing this project is to return the countryside to what it used to be before Europeans arrived.

“So in the not-too-distant future, you will be able to go inside the fenced area and it will be like stepping back before Europeans turned up,” he said.

Bilbies are known for their long ears and large back legs. They usually sleep during the day, and are awake at night. They look a lot like rabbits and grow to about 2.5 kilograms.

Australia has one of the world’s worst rates of mammal extinctions. The bilby project is seen as an important part in protecting the nation’s wildlife.

I’m Susan Shand.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

marsupial – n. a kind of animal that carries its young under a piece of skin on the mother's stomach

moment – n. a brief period of time

breeding – n. the act or process of producing plants or animals

predator – n. an animal that lives by killing and eating other animals

mammal – n. a kind of animal that feeds milk to its young and that usually has hair covering most of its skin

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