‘Eager’ reminds readers of all the ecological good that the dam builders do
Chelsea Green Publishing, $24.95
Most people probably don’t think of beavers until one has chewed through the trunk of a favorite tree or dammed up a nearby creek and flooded a yard or nearby road. Beavers are pests, in this view, on par with other members of the order Rodentia. But a growing number of scientists and citizens are recognizing the merits of these animals, science writer Ben Goldfarb explains in his new book Eager. Beavers are industrious architects, key engineers of healthy ecosystems and a potential solution to a host of environmental problems.
Neither the American beaver, Castor canadensis, nor its Eurasian cousin, C. fiber, are endangered. But by the 20th century, both species had been wiped out from