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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the number of animals and plants declining and the causes and solutions from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Declining Animals

In many countries, the number of animals and plants is declining.

Why do you think this is happening?

How can this issue be solved?

There is widespread concern over recent declines in global biodiversity. In my opinion, the clearest causes relate to human overpopulation and the solutions are for governments to prioritize conservation reforms.

The primary catalyst for these declining numbers is the growth of human population figures. The global population increases yearly and this has a number of ramifications for the natural environment. Most directly, residents require homes and that necessitates intrusions, as evidenced by the uncontrollable urban sprawl around major metropolitan areas. This means plants and animals lose their natural habitats. A more significant consequence concerns industry. In order to provide food and various products and services for a large human population, corporations have razed entire forests, drilled for oil in pristine natural environments, and greatly exploited the natural world at the expense of wildlife.

This problem can only be effectively tackled by governments. Governments must establish clear regulations concerning the habitats of various plant and animal life. A good example of this would be the numerous national parks established in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, industry was threatening to corrupt the majority of usable land and so the government and visionary reformists acted decisively out of a spirit of conservation. Other countries that take similar steps will also be able to curb the relentless, and often thoughtless, progress of humanity.

In conclusion, plant and animal life is at risk due to growing human populations and governments can best mitigate this threat. Individuals should also play a small role by reducing their consumption.

Analysis

1. There is widespread concern over recent declines in global biodiversity. 2. In my opinion, the clearest causes relate to human overpopulation and the solutions are for governments to prioritize conservation reforms.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The primary catalyst for these declining numbers is the growth of human population figures. 2. The global population increases yearly and this has a number of ramifications for the natural environment. 3. Most directly, residents require homes and that necessitates intrusions, as evidenced by the uncontrollable urban sprawl around major metropolitan areas. 4. This means plants and animals lose their natural habitats. 5. A more significant consequence concerns industry. 6. In order to provide food and various products and services for a large human population, corporations have razed entire forests, drilled for oil in pristine natural environments, and greatly exploited the natural world at the expense of wildlife.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. You can have some long sentences like this to really argue your point.
  6. State the fullest possible result.

1. This problem can only be effectively tackled by governments. 2. Governments must establish clear regulations concerning the habitats of various plant and animal life. 3. A good example of this would be the numerous national parks established in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. 4. At that time, industry was threatening to corrupt the majority of usable land and so the government and visionary reformists acted decisively out of a spirit of conservation. 5. Other countries that take similar steps will also be able to curb the relentless, and often thoughtless, progress of humanity.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, plant and animal life is at risk due to growing human populations and governments can best mitigate this threat. 2. Individuals should also play a small role by reducing their consumption.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

There is widespread concern over recent declines in global biodiversity. In my opinion, the clearest causes relate to human overpopulation and the solutions are for governments to prioritize conservation reforms.

The primary catalyst for these declining numbers is the growth of human population figures. The global population increases yearly and this has a number of ramifications for the natural environment. Most directly, residents require homes and that necessitates intrusions, as evidenced by the uncontrollable urban sprawl around major metropolitan areas. This means plants and animals lose their natural habitats. A more significant consequence concerns industry. In order to provide food and various products and services for a large human population, corporations have razed entire forests, drilled for oil in pristine natural environments, and greatly exploited the natural world at the expense of wildlife.

This problem can only be effectively tackled by governments. Governments must establish clear regulations concerning the habitats of various plant and animal life. A good example of this would be the numerous national parks established in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, industry was threatening to corrupt the majority of usable land and so the government and visionary reformists acted decisively out of a spirit of conservation. Other countries that take similar steps will also be able to curb the relentless, and often thoughtless, progress of humanity.

In conclusion, plant and animal life is at risk due to growing human populations and governments can best mitigate this threat. Individuals should also play a small role by reducing their consumption.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

widespread concern lots of worry

recent declines happened in the last few years decreases

global biodiversity around the world different types of animals, plants

clearest causes most direct source

relate to concern

overpopulation too many people

prioritize conservation reforms focus on protecting the environment

primary catalyst main cause

declining numbers decreasing figures

growth rise

population figures number of people

yearly each year, annually

a number of ramifications many results

natural environment nature

most directly clearest source

residents require homes people need places to live

necessitates intrusions requires cuts into

evidenced by shown by

uncontrollable urban sprawl cities growing into the nearby land

major metropolitan areas big cities

lose their natural habitats forests, land being taken over where animals live

significant consequence big result

concerns has to do with

industry companies, producing things

in order to so that

products items

services delivery, streaming services, etc.

corporations companies

razed entire forests burnt down trees

drilled going keep into the ground

oil a fossil fuel that you use to power cars

pristine natural environments untouched nature

greatly exploited taken advantage of a lot

at the expense of wildlife taking away from animals, plants

effectively tackled good solution

establish clear regulations enact good laws

concerning having to do with

various many different kinds

numerous national parks many conservation areas

established in built

beginning of the 20th century early 1900s

at that time back then

threatening putting at risk

corrupt hurt

majority most of

usable land land that can be used

visionary reformists forward-looking individuals

acted decisively took steps confidently

out of from

spirit of conservation wanting to safeguard

take similar steps do the same

curb slow

relentless unstoppable

thoughtless without a thought

progress moving forward

at risk threatened

due to because of

mitigate lessen the impact

threat risk

play a small role help out a little

reducing cutting down on

consumption using stuff

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈwaɪdsprɛd kənˈsɜːn 
ˈriːsnt dɪˈklaɪnz 
ˈgləʊbəl ˌbaɪəʊdaɪˈvɜːsɪti
ˈklɪərɪst ˈkɔːzɪz 
rɪˈleɪt tuː 
ˌəʊvəˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən ˌriːˈfɔːmz
ˈpraɪməri ˈkætəlɪst 
dɪˈklaɪnɪŋ ˈnʌmbəz 
grəʊθ 
ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən ˈfɪgəz
ˈjɪəli 
ə ˈnʌmbər ɒv ˌræmɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz 
ˈnæʧrəl ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt
məʊst dɪˈrɛktli
ˈrɛzɪdənts rɪˈkwaɪə həʊmz 
nɪˈsɛsɪteɪts ɪnˈtruːʒənz
ˈɛvɪdənst baɪ 
ˌʌnkənˈtrəʊləbl ˈɜːbən sprɔːl 
ˈmeɪʤə ˌmɛtrəˈpɒlɪtən ˈeərɪəz
luːz ðeə ˈnæʧrəl ˈhæbɪtæts
sɪgˈnɪfɪkənt ˈkɒnsɪkwəns 
kənˈsɜːnz 
ˈɪndəstri
ɪn ˈɔːdə tuː 
ˈprɒdʌkts 
ˈsɜːvɪsɪz 
ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz 
reɪzd ɪnˈtaɪə ˈfɒrɪsts
drɪld 
ɔɪl 
ˈprɪstiːn ˈnæʧrəl ɪnˈvaɪərənmənts
ˈgreɪtli ɪksˈplɔɪtɪd 
æt ði ɪksˈpɛns ɒv ˈwaɪldlaɪf
ɪˈfɛktɪvli ˈtækld 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃ klɪə ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ˈveərɪəs 
ˈnjuːmərəs ˈnæʃənl pɑːks 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃt ɪn 
bɪˈgɪnɪŋ ɒv ðə ˈtwɛntɪəθ ˈsɛnʧʊri
æt ðæt taɪm
ˈθrɛtnɪŋ 
kəˈrʌpt 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈjuːzəbl lænd 
ˈvɪʒnəri rɪˈfɔːmɪsts 
ˈæktɪd dɪˈsaɪsɪvli 
aʊt ɒv 
ˈspɪrɪt ɒv ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən
teɪk ˈsɪmɪlə stɛps 
kɜːb 
rɪˈlɛntlɪs
ˈθɔːtlɪs
ˈprəʊgrəs 
æt rɪsk 
djuː tuː 
ˈmɪtɪgeɪt 
θrɛt
pleɪ ə smɔːl rəʊl 
rɪˈdjuːsɪŋ 
kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

There is w______________________n over r__________________s in g_______________________y. In my opinion, the c_______________s r______________o human o___________________n and the solutions are for governments to p_________________________________s.

The p___________________t for these d___________________s is the g___________h of human p____________________s. The global population increases y________y and this has a_____________________________s for the n______________________t. M______________y, r_________________________s and that n_________________________s, as e____________________y the u___________________________l around m___________________________s. This means plants and animals l____________________________s. A more s_______________________e c____________s i____________y. I____________o provide food and various p____________s and s__________s for a large human population, c_________________s have r______________________s, d________d for o__l in p__________________________________s, and g_____________________d the natural world a____________________________e.

This problem can only be e______________________d by governments. Governments must e____________________________s c______________g the habitats of v_________s plant and animal life. A good example of this would be the n_________________________s e_________________n the United States at the b_________________________y. A____________e, industry was t______________g to c___________t the m__________y of u____________d and so the government and v______________________s a__________________y o_____f a s_______________________n. Other countries that t_____________________s will also be able to c____b the r___________s, and often t______________s, p__________s of humanity.

In conclusion, plant and animal life is a_______k d_______o growing human populations and governments can best m___________e this t_________t. Individuals should also p__________________e by r___________g their c______________n.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.ft.com/content/a0a3db97-0d5b-405a-8272-28cf217ca2e1

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Wildlife

  1. Have you ever seen a wild animal?
  2. What is your favourite wild animal?
  3. How do you feel when you see animals at the zoo?
  4. What is the importance of animals to children?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

It is a natural process for animal species to become extinct (e.g. dinosaurs, dodos, etc.). There is no reason why people should try to prevent this from happening.

Do you agree or disagree?


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