Australia has some of the strictest border controls in the world when it comes to what items you can bring into the country, especially related to animals and plants. That’s because the country has a very fragile ecosystem that has been adversely affected by the introduction of a number of species in the past.
Australia’s wildlife is unique because it has developed inisolation from other parts of the world for so long. When the British colonized Australia, they tried to introduce several animal species, many of which caused great harm to the local environment. Some of them had no natural predators, so they reproduced out of control, or they ate local plants to the point of extinction. Examples include sheep, camels, foxes, rabbits, and cane toads.
Introduced plant species have also wreaked havoc on Australia’s ecosystem. The British wanted to grow trees and flowers that they were familiar to them from home, but some of them spread wildly, invading natural landscapes and agricultural land. Today there are 32 recognized weedsin Australia, and the government spends $4 billion per year trying to control them.
So now you can understand why passengers landing in Australia have to answer so many questions about what they are carrying. Even a little mud containing plant seeds stuck to your tent, for example, could result in a disaster for the country.
1. fragile (adj) easily broken or damaged 易碎的
Don’t shake this box. The contents are fragile.
2. ecosystem (n) a specific environment and all the living things in it 生態系統
This swamp is an entire ecosystem of its own.
3. adversely (adv) in a negative way 不利的
Many workers were adversely impacted by the merger of the two companies.
4. isolation (n) far away from anything else 孤立，隔離
The old man lived a life of isolation up in the mountains by himself.
5. colonize (v) when one country occupies another for an extended period 殖民
India was colonized by England.
6. predator (n) an animal that eats another 捕食者，獵食者
This snake is a fierce predator.
7. weed (n) a plant that spreads easily and is usually unwanted 雜草
Mrs. Lambert was picking all the weeds out of her garden.
Phrases and Sentence Patterns句型解析
1. out of control (phr) uncontrollably 失控，無法控制
The students were out of control, running around the museum noisily.
2. wreak havoc (expression) wreak = cause, havoc = a lot of destruction 造成破壞
The virus is wreaking havoc on the local population.