Review It

In the following activities, you will continue to uncover the central idea of the whole article by continuing to synthesize key details and thinking about what the author wants you to learn from the article. Finally, you will use the central idea from the article to develop an accurate summary of the text as a whole.

Continue reading the final paragraphs in “From Many, to Few, to None Opens a new window,” and then complete the activity.

Paragraph 6
These cautionary tales inspired reflection on the relationship of humans and nature, and led to a groundswell of public awareness of environmental problems and support for wildlife conservation. This was the start of the country's first environmental movement. The result was the regulation of hunting, the establishment of refuges and preserves, and the passage of conservation laws. Several years later, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which was to become the most important wildlife conservation law of our time and the primary means for federal agencies to protect imperiled species and their habitats. While contemporary conservation measures arrived too late to save the passenger pigeon and other species, this crucial law has kept hundreds of plants and animals from realizing this fate.

Paragraph 7
In the last 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has proved to be a remarkably successful tool for preventing extinction and steadily improving the conservation prospects for numerous dwindling species. Although significant progress has been made in safeguarding our nation's imperiled species, many still face formidable challenges to recovery. Many species continue to hang on by just the thread ESA protection provides them. And while some species with precariously low numbers may never recover to the point where ESA protection is no longer necessary for their survival, the status of many species has improved or stabilized. In the 40th year of its existence, the ESA is stronger than ever. It continues to represent an unwavering commitment to protect our native plants and animals for future generations.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, August 18, 2014

Central Idea Tip

Remember, the central idea develops over the course of the text. As a reader, it is important for you to keep track of the central idea by pausing after each section and asking yourself some important questions:

  • What is the central idea of this section?
  • Which key details support the central idea?
  • How has the central idea changed from the last section I read?
  • How is my understanding of this scientific concept deepening?

Tracing the development of the central idea will ensure that you truly understand the content presented by the author.