9. the Spanish lynx
10. 10000 years ago
12. 27 kg/kilograms
14. caves or trees
15. to hunt them
16. 60 days/sixty days
18. to close a road
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Before I came here I worked in sales and really I found the monotony getting to me. Every day was essentially the same. So I took a complete change of direction, retrained and here I am. It’s been almost 4 years now and I can honestly say that no day is like the one before. What’s particularly rewarding is that I’m helping people who find themselves in difficult situations, due to any number of reasons… health problems, unemployment, to name just two. What’s great is that, more often than not I can make some sort of difference to their lives. 
Well, it was OK I suppose. But to be honest, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. And the final scene was just awful. They’re looking up at the stars with far away looks on their faces, when suddenly all these rockets and fireworks start exploding in the sky . He’s a tough New York cop and she’s an investigative reporter, and at the beginning they hate each other, but you’ve guessed it, he saves her from a professional killer and it’s not long before they’re running into each other’s arms in a crowded subway station.
Woman: So… how was it?
Man: It wasn’t exactly the best two weeks I’ve ever had. On the first night we went out to a local restaurant and by the time we got back to the hotel Beth was feeling sick and dizzy. The hotel doctor had a look at her and said it was food poisoning.
Woman: How awful!
Man: It wasn’t so bad. It meant that I could just sit around the pool and relax while she was sleeping, instead of dragging me around to see every monument and museum like she usually does.
Woman: You’re terrible!
Man: Don’t worry; she got her revenge on the second week. I just wanted to relax but we had to see as much as we could in the time we had left… we ended up shouting at each other in the middle of an ancient convent and then didn’t speak until we got home.  It’s all OK now though. We’re both just glad to be back
Woman: Sorry. I was just looking at one of those vases on sale. They’re really cheap and I thought it would look good on the TV. And if it didn’t I could just bring it back with the receipt and get my money back. But just as I turned it over, the handle came off in my hand. So I just put it down and came back here. I hope nobody noticed me. 
Man: Well, let’s just pay for all this stuff and get out of here as soon as we can.
All this week in Abbey Road Park you can sample locally made biscuits, cakes and desserts including last year’s prize winning carrot cake. Dozens of rides and stalls for all the family as well as music on the main stage from 8. Local band Freddy and the Pacesetters will be performing songs from their new album Phenomenal. Tickets cost 8 pounds for adults, 4 pound for under 16’s. 
I know, but that’s not really that important… she’s only my age and hasn’t been doing this very long, but management seem to think she’s quite capable, and I suppose they must know what they’re doing. It’s more that with all these cuts she proposing… most of the junior staff will be out of work and will have to look for other jobs, and who’s going to do their share of the work here? You’ve guessed it… I’ll be stuck with it and expected to finish everything on time as always. 
It seemed like quite a challenge when I heard about the project; I mean playing somebody like Buster Keaton who performed all his own stunts… having to jump from a horse onto a train… it’s a bit too much for me, I can’t even ride a horse. But after reading the script I was relieved to see that wasn’t necessary at all. It’s mainly focused on his personal life and so I wouldn’t have to face such physical torments. Instead I spent hours every day, for about three months in fact, watching DVDs of his old films, studying his mannerisms and facial expressions.  And to be honest with you, I’m more than a little proud of the result.
Woman: So I know you’re dying to tell me… how’s the car?
Man: To tell you the truth, I’m beginning to think I should have waited a bit longer. I may have made a mistake and rushed into buying it. I just imagined it there in my garage and had to have it.
Woman: Why do you think you’ve made a mistake?
Man: It’s just that I’ve spent everything I had on it. I could’ve just bought something second hand or kept my old one running for another year or so. If I have to take it for repairs any time soon, I don’t know how I’ll be able to pay for it 
The most endangered cat species is the Iberian Lynx, sometimes called the Spanish Lynx.  Should this species die out it would be the first feline extinction since the Smilodon, commonly known as the Sabre-toothed Tiger, 10,000 years ago . Recent studies estimate the number of surviving Iberian lynx to be as few as 100, which is around 400 less than there were in 2000.  What does an Iberian Lynx look like? Their leopard-like spots particularly distinguish it from its cousin, the Eurasian Lynx and it is also smaller, with a head and body length between 85 and 110 centimetres.
Males can weigh between 12.9 and 27 kilograms , which is about half the weight of the average Eurasian Lynx. The lynx can live up to a period of thirteen years. The Iberian Lynx’s size means that it typically hunts for animals no bigger than rabbits or hares. Rabbits would account for more than 70% of the Lynx’s food , but due to Spain’s declining rabbit population, the lynx has been forced to attack larger mammals such as young deer or roebuck. The Iberian Lynx hunts alone and follows its prey even up to distances of 100 kilometres. Or it lies in wait for its prey for many hours. It uses the four sets of whiskers on its ears and chin to sense its victim. They are active at night. They stay active in winter and their fur becomes thicker and paler. In extreme weather, they take shelter in caves or trees. 
The Iberian Lynx was once widespread all over the peninsula but it is now restricted to very small areas, mainly mountainous areas covered with vegetation. Its recent drastic decline over recent decades is due to loss of habitat, reduction in prey and high non-natural mortality from road kills, predator control and hunting, although it is under legal protection and it is no longer legal to hunt them.  It was recently thought that the only breeding Iberian lynxes were in the Donana National Park in Andulucia, southern Spain, but in 2007 a previously unknown population was discovered in Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain. In March 2005, for the first time Iberian Lynxes managed to breed in captivity. 3 healthy cubs were born at a breeding centre in Donana. In 2009 it was announced that 3 more cubs had been born in the same centre.  Typically a mother will give birth to 3 cubs after a gestation period of 60 days . Iberian Lynx conservation is now under way through political campaigning and lobbying from individuals and organizations such as SOS Lynx.
Important progress has been made in a number of ways. The foundation of the breeding programme in Andalucia, prevention of further construction in areas the Iberian lynx lives, and the halting of proposals for new roads in problematic areas, such as the new motorway that had been planned between Ciudad Real in La Mancha and Cordoba in Andalucia. Despite these successes, challenges and conflicting pressures remain.
The World Wildlife Foundation has been urging Spanish authorities for over two years to close a road which crosses the Donana national park , as Callum Rankine of the WWF says, ‘With such a small population, the accidental loss of just one individual on the road brings the species closer to the brink of extinction.’
It came as a complete surprise. Right out of the blue she came home and told me she’d been made redundant from work and said why didn’t we just take off for a year and travel around the world.  Well, it just all seemed to make sense. I wasn’t enjoying my work at the time and was thinking about doing something else. Her company had given her quite a generous redundancy package and also we could rent out our house for the year; that would give us enough to live on for the year as long as we were careful with our money. And I’m pleased to say that we were, apart from the occasional few luxuries here and there… you know, meals in expensive restaurants for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, that kind of thing.
It’s something I’d been looking into for some time.  To tell you the truth, it’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a kid. It just never seemed that it would be something I could realistically do, so it just remained a dream. But after somebody told me how cheap it was when you actually got there I started to do some serious research. And really, although actually getting there is very expensive, the price of the hotels, restaurants and travelling around the country is so low compared to places in Europe, it means that in total you’re not paying much more than you would for a cheap holiday on the beach in Greece or Spain. And it’s a lot more interesting than just lying around on a beach somewhere. It was great. I’m going back there next year. I didn’t think I would ever be able to say that.
It’s not every day you go on honeymoon, but if you ask me it was all a bit over the top. We had our own private beach and the staff couldn’t do enough for us: they wouldn’t let us do a thing for ourselves. For example if I tried to pour myself a drink, somebody would suddenly appear and take the bottle out of my hand and finish pouring it. I know it’s all these luxuries that you’re paying for but it’s a bit much for me and wasn’t something I was comfortable with. I suppose you must just get used to it after a while, but all the time I kept thinking that it would have been a better idea if we’d used that money to buy a washing machine and some new furniture instead of going to all that expense. 
To tell you the truth, the hotel was a bit of a letdown.  The pictures in the brochure were flattering to say the very least. The restaurant was supposed to be five star but I can honestly say I’ve had better food in a motorway service station. It wasn’t all bad though, the area itself was lovely. The beach near the village was lovely and had everything you could ask for… clean white sand, beautiful blue sea, palm trees. And the locals were really friendly and really made a fuss of the kids. I think we’ll go back there soon, but we’ll definitely stay in a different hotel, that one wasn’t good value for money at all.
I’d really been looking forward to going there and I wasn’t disappointed. Not in the least. From the moment you arrive there you feel immersed in its history. It’s the birthplace of civilisation after all, and every street you walk down reminds you of this.  I know some people wouldn’t find it much fun, to be going from boring museum to boring museum, but it wasn’t like that. When you see some of the collections they have in the museums, and you see it in context to the city itself, well, it’s an extraordinary feeling. The weather wasn’t great but I don’t think that spoiled it for us at all. It’s not like you go to a place like that just to sit on the beach and get a tan. We had a week there, but really you’d need a month just to see everything
Interviewer: It’s been described as the fastest ball game in the world, and is played in places as far away as Australia and South Africa but it actually comes from our western neighbours over in Ireland . Many of us know next to nothing about this sport so it will come as a surprise to learn that it has been played competitively all over our country since the 19th century. Sean McGinn of the British Gaelic Athletic Association is here to tell us a bit about the sport of hurling. Hi, Sean, thanks for coming. Could you give us a brief description of hurling?
Sean: Sure. Well, it’s played on a pitch of around 140 metres long and 85 metres wide, although for youth matches it’s considerably smaller. There are two teams of 15 people and each player has a slim bat called a hurley which is made from ash wood. Players use the hurley to propel a small leather ball , which is slightly bigger than a tennis ball. There are two ways to score points during a match – by scoring into the goal and past the goalkeeper, whose hurley is slightly bigger than the outfield players’… just to give him a chance… or you can score by hitting the ball over the bar but between two long posts. A goal scored past the goalkeeper is worth 3 points while putting it over the bar is worth 1. 
Interviewer: Well that all sounds relatively easy. Is it?
Sean: Not so easy as all that I’m afraid. As you said earlier, it is the fastest ball game in the world. A good hurler can hit the ball up to 150 kilometres an hour  and the ball can travel as much as 110 metres. There are also a few rules that make the whole thing trickier for the players. You can’t just pick up the ball from the floor, you have to flick it up using the hurley . You can’t carry the ball in your hand for more than 4 steps, so you have to run while balancing the ball on the hurley, which is no easy thing. There are also restrictions on the way you can tackle another player, so all in all it’s a sport that requires a high level of skill and years of practice.
Interviewer: And tell us how popular the sport is outside Ireland.
Sean: Well the history of Ireland is dominated by emigration. While the country itself has a population of less than 7 million, it’s often claimed that there are over 70 million people around the world with Irish ancestry. Nearly 11% of Americans see themselves as Irish-Americans. My own parents came over to Britain from Galway in the West of Ireland in the 1930s. Wherever these emigrants went, they took their sport with them. So now hurling is played in places such as Britain, the USA, Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, as well as places in continental Europe – for example there are teams from Brussels, from Luxembourg, from Munich, Paris and Zurich.
Interviewer: And what would you say the appeal of the sport is?
Sean: As well as the cultural aspect: keeping in touch with your roots, the game itself is so fast moving and so skilful that it’s hard to take your eyes away from the action for even a second. Also in these days of the commercialisation of sport when you have footballers or formula one drivers earning more in a week than most of us will see in a lifetime, it’s important to remember that even at the very highest level, hurling players are amateurs . That and the absence of violence between supporters… even in the most important matches there’s no segregation between rival fans … gives the sport a purity and nobility that I don’t think you get in other sports.
Interviewer: Thanks, Sean. I think we all know a little more about what sounds like a fascinating sport. That was Sean McGinn of the British Gaelic Athletic Association talking about the sport of hurling