Environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb's lively and educational Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter shows why beavers should be respected as 'ecosystem engineers.
Goldfarb is a fan of beavers, but he admits that they are not loved by all. To some, he writes, 'beavers still appear more menacing than munificent.' To make beavers seem more appealing to nature lovers, the book traces the history of beavers, tying their evolution to the colonization of North America, and shows their positive impact on the natural environment. Humans who recognize beavers' importance can help by relocating them to areas where they can do the most good. Skip Lisle, founder & owner of Beaver Deceivers International, is located in Grafton, VT. Reviewed by Pat— From What We're Reading
PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award (Longlisted)
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.