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新闻万花筒:VOA视角之无人机帮助科学家发现澳大利亚濒危的考拉

1 2988 分享 来源:必克英语 2015-03-18

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Drones Help Scientists Spot Australia's Endangered Koalas

Small endangered animals are often hard to find in their natural habitats, making it difficult for scientists to monitor them and develop conservation plans. But new technologies can help. Australian researchers have equipped flying drones with infrared cameras so they can spot koalas hiding high in trees.

Koalas spend most of their lives in eucalyptus trees, whose leaves are their favorite food. Since the leaves are low on calories and nutritional content, koalas are not very active - they sleep up to 20 hours a day. Curled-up in high branches, they are not easy to spot from the ground, and they have few natural predators. The greatest threat to this iconic symbol of Australia is logging.

“Every single tree in Australia right now, needs to be protected and unless that happens I can promise you the koala is going to go to extinction,” said Deborah Tabart, Australian Koala Foundation.

Scientists studying koalas say one of the keys for saving the animals is to know where they live and how many of them are left.

Using drones fitted with infrared cameras to conduct a census was an untested concept. Queensland Institute of Technology technician, Gavin Broadbent, said they were skeptical at first. “But when we saw the images come through, we saw the koalas were very distinct compared to the trees and the environment. So we thought, yes this is absolutely a proof of concept that could work,” he said.

The images beamed back to a computer clearly show the animal’s position, even from a distance far enough away not to disturb its sleep.

“We have tested at 20 meters and 80 meters. At 20 meters we get really good resolution,” stated Felipe Gonzalez, project leader.

The remotely controlled camera pivots and swivels, so scientists can scan the trees from all angles, picking out koalas even in the most dense areas, not visible to researchers on foot.

“So this will drastically reduce the manpower," said Amber Gillett, a veterinarian with the Australia Zoo. "Will greatly increase the area that can be covered to survey koalas and in areas where people may not be able to walk through because of dense undergrowth.”

Scientists say it is now clear that drones with infrared cameras can be used for spotting, and perhaps saving, other animals in the wild.

 

词汇解析

solar

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

adj.太阳的;太阳能的

参考例句

用作形容词 (adj.)

The sun is the center of our solar system.

太阳是太阳系的中心

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reduce

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

v.减少;缩小;使落魄;简化;还原

参考例句

用作动词 (v.)

We need to reduce our dependence on oil as a source of energy.

在能源方面,我们需减少对石油的依赖。

Electrons from water involved in noncyclic photophosphorylation are used to reduce the added substance.

非循环光合磷酸化中由水提供的电子被用来还原产物。

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avoid

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

vt.避免;逃避;[律]使无效;撤销

参考例句

用作及物动词 (vt.)

You should avoid unnecessary repetition.

你应避免不必要的重复。

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respond

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

v.回答;响应;反应;反应灵敏;反响

n.[建]壁联;[宗]应唱圣歌

参考例句

用作动词 (v.)

I invited her to dinner but she did not respond.

我请她吃晚饭,但她未作回答。

The professor lectured with a beaming countenance, but the students didn't respond much, only agreeing with what he said.

教授讲得眉飞色舞,学生们却没有太大的反响,只是随声应和。

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accelerate

难度:3星常用词汇,属常用6000词

英汉解释

v.加速;提前;跳级

参考例句

用作动词 (v.)

We will accelerate the reform of the financial system under these circumstances.

在这一背景情况下,我们将加快金融体制改革。

The decline of her health seemed to suddenly accelerate.

她的健康状况好像突然提前衰退了。

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demand

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

n.要求;需求

v.要求;查问;需要

参考例句

用作名词 (n.)

The demand for coal begins to slacken off in the spring.

煤的需求在春天开始减少。

用作动词 (v.)

All these questions demand careful and detailed study.

这些都需要认真具体的研究。

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candidate

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

n.候选人;应试者

参考例句

用作名词 (n.)

He made several favorable comments about their candidate.

他对他们的候选人发表了一些有利的评论。

Most candidates passed in grammar.

参加考试的人大多数语法及格。

 

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