Beavers Were Among New York’s First Builders—Then We Built a City They Can No Longer Live In
Imagining the city rebuilt so that beavers can return is an exercise in humility.
This is Sidewalk Naturalist, a column by Lenora Todaro which sees New York City through its wildlife citizens, whose lives tell us something about the way we live in the fragile ecosystem that is the city today.
The Bronx River in History and Folklore
Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter.
Staten Island Advance
“You have people who love them and people who don’t,” says Richard Simon, Director of the Parks Department’s Wildlife Unit. “Once there is property damage, New Yorkers are less tolerant. We’re excited that beavers are here, and everyone is working hard to keep them in place while mitigating any damage. No one wants to see them disappear again.”
Lenora Todaro is a writer, editor, walker, and wildlife enthusiast. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic, Salon, Bookforum, and elsewhere. She was a senior editor at the Village Voice. Her book, Sea Lions in the Parking Lot, will be published October 2021. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram
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This creature is a survivor. As long as it survives, our notion of the wild, of conditions indifferent to humanity in which other species thrive, survives too.
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Among the delights of time spent with urban wildlife is the reminder to be quiet and patient—not an easy task for a New Yorker.
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