Lily Pond: Four Years with a Family of Beavers

Hope Ryden, Author, Jane Goodall, With William Morrow & Company $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-87795-979-3
Readers who have enjoyed Ryden's wildlife books ( God's Dog ; Bobcat Year ) will find this one irresistible. The first beaver she spotted at the lily-covered pond in Harriman State Park (N.Y.) was a huge male who appeared every evening to inspect the 150-foot dam; he was followed by a female and two kits. Ryden observed the family for four years, recording their activities and noting births, deaths, departures and a major move. Inevitably, she became involved with the animals--bringing food during a severe winter, helping the beavers save the dam when a vandal destroyed it, hand-feeding the feeble old matriarch in her final days. Ryden, who found beavers to be intensely social and highly intelligent, discusses the animals' importance in the ecosystem as they leave one pond and build another dam elsewhere. This is captivating natural history. Illustrations not seen by PW. First serial to Readers Digest; BOMC and QPB alternates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-06-097344-5
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-55821-455-2
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