Window of Opportunity

windowRegular readers of this blog will know that I’m very interested in Environmental issues. That’s why I was interested to see this article on the Reuters website. I have lived in South-East Asia on and off for the last six years and have been interested to see the progress made in educating the public about endangered animals and habitats.

There is a lot of interesting vocabulary in the article, too. The first expresion I noticed was ‘on the brink‘ in the first paragraph. I have already explained the expression in detail in this post so I won’t go over it again. The other interesting word in this paragraph was ‘snaring‘. To ‘snare‘ something is to catch it in a trap using a rope or wire.

There is another great phrase slightly later in the article where William Robichaud is quoted as saying:

We are at a point in history where we have a small but rapidly closing window of opportunity to conserve this extraordinary animal,

A ‘window of opportunity‘ is a time period within which there is a chance to do something. We use ‘open‘ to talk about the time in which this chance is available and ‘closed‘ to talk about the time when this chance or opportunity is not available.

In the next paragraph, his colleague Barney Long uses the word ‘dozens‘ to talk about how many of these animals exist. ‘Dozen‘ is an old-fashioned word meaning ‘twelve’ and ‘dozens‘ usually means a number between twenty-four and about sixty.  Have a look here for some more number words.

There’s another great adjective in the next paragraph. The animal’s horns are described as ‘tapering‘. Something which ‘tapers‘ or is ‘tapered‘ is wider at one end than it is at the other. Sometimes we talk about ‘tapered‘ jeans where the legs get narrower as they get nearer to the ankle.

The last word I would like to look at is slightly later in the article where it is mentioned that one of the animals was kept in a ‘menagerie‘. This means a collection of animals like a small zoo.

Are there any rare or unusual animals in your country?

Today’s photo is by Ramzi Hashisho.