“A thing is right when it tends to preserve biological diversity, ecological complexity, and the evolutionary process. It is wrong when it leads to untimely extinctions.”

In Beloved Beasts, Michelle Nijhuis takes the reader on a journey through the history of the conservation movement. She begins before the movement itself was established, with a deep dive into the lives of individuals whose work and views represented that of their time and whose accomplishments laid the foundation for future generations of conservationists. These include familiar figures such as Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus and American naturalist Aldo Leopold, as well as less familiar figures.

Among the less familiar is New York socialite and bird lover Rosalie Edge. In the early 1900s, Edge joined and took on the patriarchy who ran what we now know as the Audubon Society. At the time, the society advocated for the eradication of birds of prey...

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