07th November, 2016 (CSAT)


 A sanctuary may be defined as a place where man is passive and the rest of nature active. Till quite recently, nature had her own sanctuaries, where man either did not go at all or only as a tool using animal in comparatively small numbers. But now, in this machinery age, there is no place left where man cannot go with overwhelming forces at his command. He can strangle to death all the nobler wild life in the world today. Tomorrow he certainly will have done so, unless he exercises due foresight and self-control in the meantime.

There is not the slightest doubt that birds and mammals are now being killed off much faster than they can breed. And it is always the largest and noblest forms of life that suffer most. The whales and elephants, lions and eagles, go. The rats and flies, and all mean parasites, remain. This is inevitable in certain cases. But it is wanton killing off that I am speaking of tonight. Civilized man begins by destroying the very forms of wildlife he learns to appreciate most when he becomes still more civilized. The obvious remedy is to begin conservation at an earlier stage, when it is easier and better in every way, by enforcing laws for close seasons, game preserves, the selective protection of certain species and sanctuaries.

I have just defined a sanctuary as a place where man is passive and the rest of nature active. But this general definition is too absolute for any special case. The mere fact that man has to protect a sanctuary does away with his purely passive attitude.

Then, he can be beneficially active by destroying pests and parasites, like botflies or mosquitoes, and by finding antidotes for diseases like the epidemic which periodically kills off the rabbits and thus starves many of the carnivora to death. But, except in cases where experiment has proved his intervention to be beneficial, the less he upsets the balance of nature the better, even when he tries to be an earthly providence.


1. The author implies that his first definition of a sanctuary is

(a) totally wrong

(b) somewhat idealistic

(c) immutable

(d) indefensible


2. Consider the following statements with regard to the passage

I. Parasites have an important role to play in the regulation of populations.

II. The elimination of any species can have unpredictable effects on the balance of nature.

III. Botflies and mosquitoes have been introduced to the area by human activities.

IV. Elimination of these insects would require the use of insecticides that kill a wide range of insects.

Which of the above statements will weaken the author’s argument that destroying botflies and mosquitoes would be a beneficial action?

(a) I and III

(b) II, III and IV

(c) I, II and IV

(d) All of these


3. What is the purpose of the last paragraph?

I. Sum up the main points of the author’s argument.

II. Qualify the author’s definition of an important term.

With reference to the above question, which of the statements given above is correct?

(a) Only I

(b) Only II

(c) Both I and II

(d) None of these


4. It can be inferred that the passage is

(a) part of an article in a scientific journal

(b) a speech delivered in a court of law

(c) part of a speech delivered to an educated audience

(d) extracted from the minutes of a nature club

Tomorrow: Next questions for practice

For previous questions refer yesterday’s post

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