Beavers build sophisticated dams and deep-water ponds that slow erosion of riverbanks, create cooler deep-water pools for temperature-sensitive plant and fish species, and increase the water table, a big deal for Western states coping with drought. And they're social animals who have mates, kits, and an active social life.
But centuries-old myths and fables about the beaver have led to their destruction and prevented us from recognizing their charms and value to the ecosystem. We fear them, dislike them, and use them for all the wrong reasons, like killing them for their pelts.
Let's celebrate the beaver!
- Jim Robbins - freelance journalist based in Montana and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. He’s the author of several books including, “The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and An Urge To Save the Planet.”
- Rachel Poliquin - freelance writer and curator. She’s the author of “The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing,” and “Beaver,” for the Reaktion Books’ Animal Series.
- Heidi Perryman - child psychologist and the founder of Worth-A-Dam
- Sherri Tippie - the top live-trapper of Beaver in North America. She rescues beaver in Colorado and rehabilitates and relocates them to areas where there ponds are needed.
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.
This show originally aired on November 19, 2014