Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

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Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018 - NATURE - 286 pages
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WINNER of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

Washington Post "50 Notable Works of Nonfiction"

Science News "Favorite Science Books of 2018"

Booklist "Top Ten Science/Technology Book of 2018"

"A marvelously humor-laced page-turner about the science of semi-aquatic rodents.... A masterpiece of a treatise on the natural world."--The Washington Post

In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America's lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of "Beaver Believers"--including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens--recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. Eager is a powerful story about one of the world's most influential species, how North America was colonized, how our landscapes have changed over the centuries, and how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Ultimately, it's about how we can learn to coexist, harmoniously and even beneficially, with our fellow travelers on this planet.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

Beavers are important! That is the message that you will get repeatedly while reading this book, although author Ben Goldfarb does not skimp on providing detailed evidence behind his thesis. What we ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

Buffalo. Wolves. Cougars. And now beavers. Enter the world of re-wilding. To do this requires scientific and public support. The later is most important, politically, and that is where books come in ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Appetite for Construction
17
2
18
Dislodged
37
Deceive and Exclude
61
The Beaver Whisperer
83
Realm of the Dammed
105
6
111
Across the Pond
195
Let the Rodent Do the Work
221
Acknowledgments
245
Notes
249
17
271
37
275
61
276
105
280

California Streaming
131
7
133
Make the Desert Bloom
151
Wolftopia
175

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About the author (2018)

Ben Goldfarb is an award-winning environmental journalist who covers wildlife conservation, marine science, and public lands management, as well as an accomplished fiction writer. His work has been featured in Science, Mother Jones, The Guardian, High Country News, VICE, Audubon Magazine, Modern Farmer, Orion, World Wildlife Magazine, Scientific American, Yale Environment 360, and many other publications. He holds a master of environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is a 2018 North American Congress for Conservation Biology journalist fellow.

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