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Welcome to Beaverland: #SciFriBookClub Author & Reseacher Q&A – Leila Philip & Emily Fairfax


How would you describe beavers to someone who has never heard of them? Maybe you’d call them nature’s engineer, or you’d mention that they’re mammals with flat tails, ever-growing teeth and water-resistant fur, or perhaps that they are a keystone species that help maintain ecosystems across the country! We’ve gathered two experts who have dedicated their recent work to telling you all about these weird and wonderful animals. Come with your questions for Leila Philip, author of ‘Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America’, and Emily Fairfax, beaver and ecohydrology researcher, about these amazing hodgepodge creatures.

In Search of Swampland – A Wetland Sourcebook and Field Guide

A good read about hydrology and various types of wetlands, as well as a field guide to identifying wetland plants and animals. 1998.

Wildstream: A Natural History of the Free Flowing River

This 556 page book by offers easy to read, in-depth explanations of stream ecology. 2000

Wetlands: The Web of Life

Spectacular wetland photography and descriptive text combine to instill in the reader a sense of the ecological and spiritual importance of wetlands. 1996.

Discovering The Unknown Landscape – A History of America’s Wetlands

An excellent historical text of our nation’s wetlands and how we got to where we are today. 1997.

My Beaver Colony

The story of a professor cared for reintroduced beavers in Sweden to learn how to better protect them, and to discern what behaviors are learned versus innate. 1968.

Beavers for Kids (Wildlife for Kids Series)

Eleven-year-old Antonio tells about discovering a family of beavers while on a nature hike and discusses their characteristics and activities. 1996

Paddy: A Naturalist’s Story of an Orphaned Beaver

An interesting and enjoyable story about raising an orphaned beaver by a man with a wealth of outdoor knowledge and experience. 1998.

Beaversprite: My Years Building an Animal Sanctuary

A classic book about beavers that gives many insights into beaver behavior, and how passionate individuals can make a difference. this book has has endeared beavers to innumerable people. 1983.

Where Waters Run Beavers

Abundant color photography nicely complements the text describing the natural history and behavior of beavers. 1997.

Lily Pond: Four Years with a Family of Beavers

A fascinating book of beaver observations from an author who truly appreciates beavers. 1989.

The American Beaver: A Classic of Natural History and Ecology

Rare landmark study (1868) offers a unique historical perspective on fascinating rodent: anatomy and characteristics, habitat, dams, ledges and burrows, food, trapping methods, animal psychology, much more. 1868 – Classic book.

Fur, Fortune and Empire: The Epic Story of the Fur Trade in America

The history how commercial beaver trapping led to exploration, exploitation and the settlement of North America. 2010

Beavers by the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska

Beautiful photography taken by the author, and an excellent book for novices to learn all about beavers and their beneficial effects. 2009

Once they Were Hats – In Search of the Mighty Beaver

The natural history of beavers, their exploitation for fashion, profit and politics, and their eventual comeback. Well written book by a passionate beaver advocate. 2016

The Beaver, Natural History of a Wetlands Engineer

An extremely well-researched and documented book regarding beavers and the importance of their wetlands on the landscape. 2003

The Beaver Manifesto


Dr. Glynnis Hood has spent many years scientifically studying beavers and their ability to protect the landscape from climate change and drought. A very interesting and educational read. 2011

Saving the Dammed – Why We Need Beaver-Modified Ecosystems


“Saving the Dammed” is a well-researched book that analyzes the effect that beavers and the absence of beavers have on stream ecosystems. The author follows the month by month changes in a single beaver meadow over an entire year in Colorado. 2019

At Home with the Beaver: The Story of a Keystone Species

This book for young readers, filled with beautiful photographs by Michael Runtz, explores the great variety of living things inhabiting, and dependent on beaver ponds. 2019

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

Eager” is a wonderfully written and entertaining book that blends of in-depth knowledge of beavers and their environmental importance, with many stories about “Beaver Believers” who are committed to promoting beaver coexistence. 2018