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Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter
by Ben Goldfarb
Top Five Books of 2022 (156)
Books Read in 2019 (1,666)
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I just finished Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers by Ben Goldfarb is about wildlife. I was going to purchase this but decided to take it from the library instead. I didn't feel guilty though; I made other purchases of books not readily available.
To my surprise one of my cousin's wives also read it and loved it. There's a reason I'm only giving it a three or four, despite my delight and enjoyment. Books such as Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers by Ben Goldfarb and Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves by Brenda Peterson have a tendency to over-make their case for the author's chosen animal. Someone could make a case, I suppose, that the flounder, or more realistically another mammal, let's say the horse, was or is the most important non-human animal and build a convincing case. I should know; I'm a lawyer and build cases for a living. Like Wolf Nation books of this genre, to quote myself, are "a bit ideologically driven for my tastes." I am very much a lover of the outdoors. Pounding the table in making an argument doesn't sway me.
Still, I join my cousin, a teacher who majored in limnology, or the study of fresh water habitats, in highly recommending this book.
A well-researched exploration of the history of human interactions with beavers, from their almost-eradication in the 1700s to current and future efforts to reestablish them in both North America and Europe and the benefits of doing so.
This book is much more about what beavers can do for humans and the environment than about the life or biology of beavers themselves. Which is fine! It takes all kinds of perspectives. I particularly appreciated that the book got into really specific details about current scientists and companies that are working on reintroducing beavers and reducing the negative impacts on humans. It’s great reporting.
This wasn't really what I thought, but I still liked the book. As the title suggests, this is about beavers and why the matter to the ecosystem. It has science in the book, but it's written more like something you'd read in a National Geographic. I will say this book changed my opinion on beavers.
It is better to read this book as a story of trip to to Beaver country than a scientific treatise on the benefits of reintroduction of beavers to the landscape. It is the author personal journey to Beaver Believers and their willful charges.
...a book that’s a most unexpected gift: a marvelously humor-laced page-turner about the science of semi-aquatic rodents....But here’s the take-home message: Goldfarb has built a masterpiece of a treatise on the natural world, how that world stands now and how it could be in the future ... He gives us abundant reasons to respect environment-restoring beavers and their behaviors, for their own good and for ours.
Filled with hard facts and fascinating people (and animals), this is an authoritative, vigorous call for understanding and action.
Our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America's lakes and rivers. Goldfarb shares the powerful story about one of the world's most influential species. He explains 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. -- adapted from jacket
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)333.95Social sciences Economics Economics of land & energy Hydrospheric, Atmospheric, and Biospheric Resources Biosphere and Biospheric Resources
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Goldfarb's stories really tell how one animal, one part of an ecosystem can make all the difference in the world.
My country's geography would now be much different, and better, if not for the historical slaughter of beavers.
I give credit to everyone working to restore beaver habitat. ( )