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Flying Tortoises Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

The Flying Tortoises IELTS reading passage is about an airborne reintroduction program that helps conservationists take measures to save the endangered Galapagos tortoise. The passage describes the history of the Galapagos tortoise, including how they were exploited by humans for food and oil in the past and how the introduction of alien species destroyed their habitats. 

 

The passage also discusses the efforts to breed and reintroduce the turtles into the wild, including the use of helicopters to transport them to different locations. Reading passages like this one might appear in IELTS exams, and questions based on the passage might ask about the definition, history, or conservation efforts related to the Galapagos tortoise.

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1. Flying Tortoises Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 13 based on the Reading Passage below.

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2. Flying Tortoises Reading Questions & Answers

Discover Flying Tortoises IELTS reading answers

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1.

Flying Tortoises Reading Passage

General Instructions
General Instructions for IELTS Reading:

  • You should read the instructions for each question carefully and answer according to them.
  • The reading passages will increase in difficulty as you progress through the test.
  • Skimming and scanning of the passage is very important to score well in the reading section.
  • You should manage your time carefully to ensure enough time to answer all the questions.
  • You cannot bring any electronic devices, including mobile phones, into the test room.

 

 

 

 

Flying Tortoises Reading Passage


 

A. An airborne reintroduction program has supported conservationists to take important measures to save the endangered Galapagos tortoise.

 

B. Spiny cacti forests cover the most uneven volcanic plains that divide the interior of Isabella's Galapagos Island from the Pacific Ocean. With its five different volcanoes, the island and lunar landscape are similar. Only the dense vegetation in the skirt of the peak-covered peak of the Sierra Negra rests from the barren landscape below.

 

C. This unfriendly environment is house to the huge Galapagos tortoise. About five million years after the birth of the Galapagos, the islands were occupied by one or more turtles off the mainland of South America. As these ancestral turtles settled on separate islands, distinct peoples developed at least 14 different subspecies to suit their unique environments. Island life agreed with them. Without important predators, they grew into the biggest and longest turtles on the planet, weighing more than 400 kilograms, sometimes 1.8 meters long, and living for over a century.

 

D. Before humans arrived, the archipelago had millions of turtles. From the 17th century, pirates took some for food, but with the arrival of whale ships in the 1790s, this exploitation increased exponentially. The turtles, relatively unmoving and capable of surviving for months without food or water, were transported on these ships to serve as food items during lengthy sea journeys. Sometimes, their bodies were processed into top-quality oil.

 

E. In total, 200,000 animals were taken from the archipelago before the 20th century. This recorded exploitation then intensified when immigrants arrived on the islands. They hunted turtles and killed their habitat to empty the land for agriculture. They also introduced alien species that could hunt or lay eggs and hurt or kill their habitat, ranging from livestock, pigs, goats, rats, and dogs to plants and ants.

 

F. Today, only 11 subspecies survive, many of which are highly endangered. In 1989, work started on a turtle breeding center outside the city of Puerto Villamil in Isabela, dedicated to saving the island's turtle population. The centre's captive breeding program proved to be very successful, and it finally had to deal with a large population issue.

 

G. The issue was also stressful. Captive turtles cannot be reintroduced into the wild until they are at least five years old and weigh at least 4.5 kilograms, at which time their size and weight and toughened shells can save them from predators. But if people wait too long after that, the turtles will ultimately become too big to carry.

 

H. For many years, on long, treacherous walks on narrow paths, turtles were carried in small numbers, carried on the backs of males. But in November 2010, Godfrey Merlin, an environmentalist and liaison officer for Galapagos National Park, and the visiting private motorboat captain and helicopter pilot assembled around a table in a small cafe on the island of Santa Cruz in Puerto Ayora to perform a more ambitious reintroduction. The purpose was to transport the 300 turtles from the breeding centre to different places near the Sierra Negra by helicopter.

 

I. The owners made this remarkable action of the 67-meter White Cloud boat, who used the helicopter and its professional pilot and boat, as well as the logistics help of its captain and crew, for free to Galapagos National Park. First, an air ambulance, the boat's helicopter has a rear dual door and a big interior space very appropriate for cargo, so a custom crate is created to hold 33 turtles with a total weight of 150 kilograms. With this weight, fuel, pilot, and four crew, the helicopter's full payload was approaching, and there were times when it was undoubtedly on the border of the helicopter's capacities. For three days, a team of volunteers from the breeding centre worked 24 hours a day to prepare young turtles for transport. At the same time, park keepers landed prematurely in remote locations and removed landing sites with dense brush, cacti, and volcanic rocks.

 

J. Once they are released, the young turtles quickly spread to their ancestral territory, exploring their new environment and eating the plants. Finally, a small tortoise saw a full-grown giant who had been cutting down a tree for a hundred years around the island. The two stood side by side, a strong sign of the regeneration of an ancient race.

2.

Flying Tortoises Reading Questions & Answers

Discover Flying Tortoises IELTS reading answers

Questions and Answers 1-4
  • Choose the correct Answer from options A-D.

 

1. Most uneven volcanic plains that separate the interior of Isabella's Galapagos Island from the

 

  1. South America
  2. Sierra Negra
  3. Santa Cruz
  4. Pacific Ocean

 

2. To suit their unique environments. distinct peoples developed at least 

 

  1. 12 different subspecies
  2. 14 different subspecies
  3. 12 Similar subspecies
  4. 14 Similar subspecies

 

3. The archipelago had millions of turtles before

 

  1. humans arrived
  2. turtles came
  3. the arrival of species
  4. subspecies arrived

 

4. The bodies of turtles were sometimes processed into 

 

  1. medicine
  2. alcohol
  3. high-quality oil
  4. caffeine
     

Flying Tortoises Reading Answers with Explanations (1-4)

 

Type of question: Multiple Choice Question (MCQ)

 

In this task, you must choose the best answer from a list of options. To answer them effectively, you must read the question and options carefully, eliminate distractors, and match keywords or phrases from the passage with those in the options.
 

How to best answer the questions
 

  • Read the given text carefully and understand the context in which the sentence is used.
  • Pay attention to the words or phrases before and after the blank space, as they can give you clues to the correct answer.
  • Consider the meaning of the surrounding text and look for synonyms or antonyms of the word or phrase in the blank space.
  • Eliminate the answer options that don't fit the context or don't make grammatical sense.
  • Please read the sentence with the chosen answer to ensure it fits its intended meaning and sounds natural.

 

1. D: Pacific Ocean

 

Reference

 

From paragraph B: “Spiny cacti forests cover the most uneven volcanic plains that divide the….peak-covered peak of the Sierra Negra rests from the barren landscape below.”

 

Explanation

Paragraph B mentions that the volcanic plains separate Isabella's Galapagos Island from the Pacific Ocean. It describes how spiny cacti forests cover these volcanic plains, contributing to the island's unique landscape.


 

2. B: 14 different subspecies

 

Reference

 

From paragraph C: “This unfriendly environment is house to the huge Galapagos tortoise. About.sometimes 1.8 meters long, and living for over a century.”

 

Explanation

The paragraph C states that as the ancestral turtles settled on separate islands, distinct peoples developed at least 14 different subspecies to suit their unique environments. This indicates that there were 14 distinct variations or subspecies of turtles on the Galapagos Islands.


 

3. A: Humans arrived

 

Reference

 

From paragraph C: “This unfriendly environment is house to the huge Galapagos tortoise. About.sometimes 1.8 meters long, and living for over a century.”
 

Explanation

Paragraph C mentions that the archipelago had millions of turtles before humans arrived. However, with the arrival of humans, particularly during the 17th century and later with the arrival of whale ships in the 1790s, exploitation of the turtles increased significantly. This exploitation included hunting turtles for food and processing their bodies into high-quality oil, leading to a decline in their population.


 

4. C: High-quality oil

 

Reference

 

From paragraph D: “Before humans arrived, the archipelago had millions of turtles. From the 17th century, pirates took some for….. their bodies were processed into top-quality oil.”
 

Explanation

The paragraph D states that sometimes the bodies of turtles were processed into top-quality oil. This indicates that one of the uses of turtle bodies was to extract oil from them. Therefore, the correct answer is high-quality oil.

Questions and Answers 5-9
  • Complete the notes below.
  • Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

 

  • Before the 5) ___________ century, 200,000 animals were taken from the 6) _____________
  • Immigrants hunted turtles and killed their habitat to empty the land for 7) ___________
  • In 8) ____________, work started on a turtle breeding centre.
  • Ultimately, the turtle breeding centre had to deal with a 9) _________________ issue.

 

Flying Tortoises Answers with Explanations (5-9)


 

Type of question: Note Completion

 

Note completion is a question type in IELTS reading where you complete incomplete sentences or notes by choosing words or phrases from the passage. Skim the passage and match keywords and synonyms to the notes to answer this question.
 

How to best answer the question
 

  • Read the question statements carefully
  • Note down the keywords in the question
  • locate the keywords in the passage
  • Determine whether the statement is true or false based on the information in the passage.
  • No answer can be given if the information is not in the passage. Use these steps to complete the table and answer the question correctly and effectively.

 

 

5. 2Oth

 

Reference

 

From Paragraph E: “In total, 200,000 animals were taken from the archipelago….ranging from livestock, pigs, goats, rats, and dogs to plants and ants.

 

Explanation

The paragraph mentions that before the 20th century, pirates and whale ships took many animals, including Galapagos tortoises, from the archipelago for various purposes, including food and oil extraction.

 

6. Archipelago

 

Reference

 

From Paragraph E: “In total, 200,000 animals were taken from the archipelago….ranging from livestock, pigs, goats, rats, and dogs to plants and ants.
 

Explanation

Paragraph E states that the Galapagos archipelago had millions of turtles before humans arrived. This indicates that the reference to the archipelago fits in the context of the large population of turtles.

 

7. Agriculture

 

Reference

 

From Paragraph E: “In total, 200,000 animals were taken from the archipelago….ranging from livestock, pigs, goats, rats, and dogs to plants and ants.

 

Explanation

Paragraph E mentions that Immigrants who arrived on the islands hunted turtles and destroyed their habitat to clear land for agriculture. This action contributed to the decline of the turtle population on the islands.
 

8. 1989

 

Reference

 

From paragraph F: “Today, only 11 subspecies survive, many of which are highly endangered. In 1989…..and it finally had to deal with a large population issue.

 

Explanation 

The paragraph F mentions that in 1989, work began on a turtle breeding centre dedicated to saving the island's turtle population. This marks the beginning of efforts to address the decline in the tortoise population through captive breeding programs.


 

9. Large Population

 

Reference

 

From paragraph F: “Today, only 11 subspecies survive, many of which are highly endangered. In 1989…..and it finally had to deal with a large population issue.

 

Explanation

The paragraph F states that the breeding centre eventually had to deal with a large population issue, indicating that their successful breeding efforts led to many turtles, posing challenges in managing and reintroducing them into the wild.

Questions and Answers 10-13
  • Complete the sentences below.
  • Write ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

 

10. Captive turtles above ______________ and at least five years old only can be reintroduced into the wild.

11. A custom box is made to hold ___________ with a total weight of 150 kilograms.

12. A team of volunteers from the breeding centre worked ____________ a day to prepare young turtles for transport.

13. A small tortoise saw a full-grown giant who had been cutting down a tree for a _______________ around the island.

 

Flying Tortoises Reading Answers with Explanations (10-13)

 

Type of question: Sentence Completion 

 

Sentence completion is a task in the IELTS reading section in which you are given incomplete sentences that you must complete with information from the reading passage. This task tests your ability to understand and summarise information from the passage.
 

How to best answer the question
 

  • Carefully read the incomplete sentence and try to understand what information is missing.
  • Pay attention to the context and any clues provided in the sentence or the surrounding text.
  • Choose the option that best completes the sentence based on the information from the reading passage.

 

10. 4.5 kilograms

 

Reference

 

From paragraph G:  “The issue was also stressful. Captive turtles cannot be reintroduced… that, the turtles will ultimately become too big to carry.”
 

Explanation

Paragraph G highlights that captive turtles must meet certain criteria before being reintroduced into the wild. Specifically, they need to be at least five years old and weigh a minimum of 4.5 kilograms. This requirement ensures that the turtles have reached a size and weight where their toughened shells can protect against predators in their natural habitat.


 

11. 33 turtles

 

Reference

 

From paragraph I:  “The owners made this remarkable action of the 67-meter White Cloud boat, who used…..landed prematurely in remote locations and removed landing sites with dense brush, cacti, and volcanic rocks.

 

Explanation

The paragraph I describes the creation of a custom crate designed to transport turtles from the breeding centre to various locations near Sierra Negra. This crate could hold 33 turtles, and its construction was essential for safely transporting the turtles via helicopter, as it ensured they were securely contained during transit.


 

12. 24 hours

 

Reference

 

From paragraph I:  “The owners made this remarkable action of the 67-meter White Cloud boat, who used…..landed prematurely in remote locations and removed landing sites with dense brush, cacti, and volcanic rocks.
 

Explanation

The paragraph I explains that volunteers from the breeding centre were crucial in preparing the young turtles for transport. The passage mentions that these volunteers worked tirelessly for 24 hours a day, emphasising the dedication and effort required to ensure the success of the reintroduction program. This continuous work schedule underscores the urgency and importance of the task at hand.


 

13. Hundred years

 

Reference

 

From paragraph J:  “Once released, the young turtles quickly spread to their ancestral territory, exploring…..a strong sign of the regeneration of an ancient race.”

 

Explanation

Paragraph J describes a poignant moment where a small tortoise encounters a full-grown giant tortoise cutting down a tree for a hundred years around the island. This imagery symbolises the enduring presence of these ancient creatures in their habitat and is a powerful representation of the ongoing efforts to preserve and regenerate the Galapagos tortoise population.

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FAQs

Q. What are good tips/practices for IELTS Reading preparation?

Ans. To prepare for the IELTS reading exam, you should familiarise yourself with the test format, improve your reading speed, develop your vocabulary, practice with sample tests, improve your skimming and scanning skills, and read various texts. Practice is essential, and with regular practice and dedication, you can improve your reading skills and achieve a high score on the test.

Q. How can I score better on my IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To score better on your IELTS reading exam, you should focus on time management, skimming and scanning, vocabulary, accuracy, practice with sample tests, and reading different types of texts. Consistent and dedicated preparation is the key to achieving a high score on the test.

Q. Can I retake the IELTS Reading test alone?

Ans. Yes, you can retake any section of the IELTS test, whether listening, reading, writing, or speaking. The format and timing of that IELTS One Skill Retake test are the same as that individual skill in a full IELTS test; you can save time by not needing to complete the other three skills.

Q. Is the IELTS Reading test difficult to score?

Ans. The difficulty of the IELTS reading test depends on your English proficiency and familiarity with the test format. The test can be challenging because it contains a wide range of texts and questions within a limited time. However, with consistent preparation and practice, you can improve your skills and achieve a high score on the test.

Q. What is the minimum preparation time required for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. The minimum preparation time required for the IELTS reading test is four weeks. This will give you enough time to improve your reading skills, develop your vocabulary, practice with sample tests, and improve your skimming and scanning skills. However, the amount of preparation time required depends on your current level of English proficiency and familiarity with the test format.

Q. How can I answer multiple choice questions for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To answer multiple-choice questions in the IELTS reading test, you should read the instructions and questions carefully, skim the text quickly to locate the relevant section, eliminate wrong answers, and make an educated guess if you are unsure. With practice, you can improve your skills and achieve a high score on the test.

Q. How can I improve my comprehension skills for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To improve your comprehension skills for the IELTS reading test, you can:
 

  • Read Regularly
  • Practice skimming and scanning
  • Focus on vocabulary
  • Use context clues
  • Take practice tests
     

Following these tips can improve your skills and perform better in the IELTS reading test.

Q. What are some good resources for improving my reading skills in general?

Ans.  Try using sites like Project Gutenberg and Medium, where you can find many different things to read to improve your reading skills. If you have a lot of books, go to your local library, and they'll help you find books that suit you. To easily find books and audiobooks you want to listen to, apps such as the Kindle or Goodreads can also be used. Use websites such as Khan Academy or Newsela to practice exercises that correspond with your reading levels to improve your understanding of what you read.

Q. What are some common misconceptions about the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. There are several misconceptions about the IELTS reading test, including the belief that you need to know all the words in the passage, read the entire passage, that the questions are straightforward, that you need to answer the questions in order, and that you need prior knowledge of the topics. By understanding these misconceptions, you can confidently approach the test and clearly understand what is required to do well.

Q. How can I stay calm and focused during the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. To stay calm and focused during the IELTS reading test, practice mindfulness, manage your time, stay hydrated, stay relaxed, read the questions carefully, and stay positive. You can perform to the best of your abilities by following these tips.

Q. What is the band score range for the IELTS Reading module?

Ans. The band score range for the IELTS reading module is 0 to 9. The score is based on the number of correct answers and is calculated using a conversion table. The final score is rounded to the nearest half-band and reported as a whole or half-band. A score of 9 indicates expert user proficiency, while 0 indicates non-user proficiency. The score requirements vary depending on the institution or organisation that requires the test.