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Many forests where koalas live are being cut down

A koala feeds on eucalyptus leaves in its new enclosure at the Singapore Zoo, May 20, 2015, in Singapore.
A koala feeds on eucalyptus leaves in its new enclosure at the Singapore Zoo, May 20, 2015, in Singapore. AP/Wong Maye-E

In Queensland, Australia, the government loosened some of its rules about cutting down trees. Many of the cleared forests were home to koalas. The koala has almost died out in Queensland. 

Martin Taylor is a scientist. He said the koala's home forests need to be protected. If not, the nation's koalas cannot be saved.

Laws To Stop Cutting Down Trees

The Queensland parliament might pass a law to stop cutting down forests. Then it will not be so easy for people to chop down trees. In Australia, parliament makes the laws. 

The government wants to stop too many people from cutting down trees. The forests help to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is home to some of the world's most beautiful fish. Many people visit the reef. The government wants them to keep visiting. 

Some people do not want the law to pass. They work for farmers who want the land for cattle. They will vote against it. 

Many people in Queensland do want the new law. Almost 24,000 Queensland citizens signed a letter. The letter says the new law is needed. About 200 people stood outside parliament. They wanted to show support for the law.

Some people think the rules are not strong enough. Landowners will not have to show proof that they did not cut down forests. Some people think this lets them get away with it.

Lots Of Koala Homeland Is Gone

Many forests were cut down in the country. Almost all were west of the Great Dividing Range. The Great Dividing Range is Australia's largest mountain. 

The World Wildlife Fund and the Australian Koala Foundation are working together to save the koala. They showed how much koala homeland has been lost. Much more land is being cleared now than just five years ago.

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1
Anchor 3: People, Events & Ideas

Why is the law Parliament might pass important?

A

it would protect the forests koalas live in

B

it would make sure people visit the Great Barrier Reef

C

it would give farmers land for cattle

D

it would raise money for the World Wildlife Fund

2
Anchor 3: People, Events & Ideas

What is the main reason why koalas are in danger in Queensland?

A

because new laws to protect the Great Barrier Reef might hurt koalas

B

because koala's forest homes are being cleared

C

because the World Wildlife Fund has not worked hard enough to keep the koala safe

D

because the government wants to let people hunt koala

3
Anchor 4: Word Meaning & Choice

Read the following paragraph from the section "Laws To Stop Cutting Down Trees."

Many people in Queensland do want the new law. Almost 24,000 Queensland citizens signed a letter. The letter says the new law is needed. About 200 people stood outside parliament. They wanted to show support for the law.

What is the best definition of "citizens" based on the information in the paragraph?

A

people who work for parliament

B

people who make new laws

C

people who live in the country

D

people who fight for animal rights

4
Anchor 4: Word Meaning & Choice

Read the following sentences from the last paragraph of the article.

They showed how much koala homeland has been lost. Much more land is being cleared now than just five years ago.

What is the best definition of "cleared" based on the information in the paragraph?

A

to be protected

B

to plant trees on

C

to grow wild

D

to cut down trees

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