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Beloved Beasts

Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction

29 April 2022


“At once thoughtful and thought-provoking”, Beloved Beasts tells the story of the modern conservation movement through the lives and ideas of the people who built it, making “a crucial addition to the literature of our troubled time” (Elizabeth Kolber)

In the late nineteenth century, humans came at long last to a devastating realisation: their rapidly industrialising and globalising societies were driving scores of animal species to extinction. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the history of the movement to protect and conserve other forms of life. From early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale, Nijhuis’s “spirited and engaging” account documents “the changes of heart that changed history” (Dan Cryer, Boston Globe).

With “urgency, passion, and wit” (Michael Berry, Christian Science Monitor), she describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, reveals the origins of vital organisations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund, explores current efforts to protect species such as the whooping crane and the black rhinoceros and confronts the darker side of modern conservation, long shadowed by racism and colonialism.

As the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change wreak havoc on our world, Beloved Beasts charts the ways conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species including our own.


"A definitive and informative history… Nijhuis’s detailed account is clear-eyed and unvarnished in its honesty." — Valerie Thompson, Science

"Michelle Nijhuis has written a book that is both a beautiful, wise history and a measured call to action." — Florence Williams



140 x 211 mm • 352 pages


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