Defender Radio: The Podcast for Wildlife Advocates and Animal Lovers

By The Fur-Bearers

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Defender Radio is the world's top wildlife protection podcast. It is hosted by award-winning journalist Michael Howie and presented by The Fur-Bearers (thefurbearers.com).

Episode Date
Krikey Is Helping Gorillas With Augmented Reality
30:31

How do you grow empathy and protect the future non-human animals in a part of the world most people will never visit? One company has the answer – and the science to back it up.

Krikey, a mobile gaming company founded by Jhvani and Ketaki Shriram, recently partnered with The Ellen Fund to launch Gorillas!, a 3D, augmented reality game that allows people to learn about the lives of critically endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. What makes this fascinating is not just the adorable graphics and enjoyable gaming aspect, but that it’s backed by scientific evidence that indicates the augmented reality experience actually grows empathy in adults.

Despite my best efforts, I am unable to succinctly explain the various aspects of what Jhvani and Ketaki have created with Krikey, so let’s dive into the interview with these two incredible people and hear why I’m telling people that they may have developed one of the tools that could actually change the hearts and minds of humankind.

Jul 11, 2019
Dr. Marc Bekoff On What It Means To Unleash Our Dogs
49:07

As many of you know, I’m a dog guy. I share my home with JJ the Hamilton Hound, who you’ll often hear clicking around and bringing me toys while I’m interviewing folks. And as you may also know, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Marc Bekoff. He’s a prolific author, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, and as an ethologist has incredible experience, wisdom, and insight into the animals around us. Along with his friend and regular writing partner Dr. Jessica Pierce, Marc co-authored Unleashing Your Dog: A field guide to giving your canine companion the best life possible.

I’m describing this book as the book anyone should read before they read a dog training book – because this isn’t a dog training book. Unleashing Your Dog examines our relationships with dogs and challenges us to give our dogs what they need to truly be who they are while living in a human world. Marc joined Defender Radio to discuss the motivations for the book, how we can all use the tools of ethology to learn more about the non-human animals in our lives, and what exactly unleashing your dog means.

Get your copy of Unleashing Your Dog: https://www.amazon.ca/Unleashing-Your-Dog-Companion-Possible/dp/160868542X

Learn more about Marc: www.marcbekoff.com

Read Marc's Psychology Today blog: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/animal-emotions

Support Defender Radio via Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Jun 27, 2019
BC's Black Bears Have a Human Problem
46:07

Bears are dying in British Columbia as spring turns to summer. I’d like to have a cute, chipper way of introducing this interview, but that’s the sad fact. Largely due to poor attractant management, bears wander into communities in search of easy meals, an inconsistent response from various residents results in their ongoing presence in the community, and, eventually, it often leads to conservation officers killing the bear for alleged habituation.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Luci Cadman of the North Shore Black Bear Society in British Columbia works tirelessly to educate communities and push for enforcement of existing by-laws regarding attractants and human behaviour that leads to these conflicts.  She joined Defender Radio to discuss the reality of living near bears, the things individuals and whole communities can do to stop the killing, and why this isn’t a bear issue, but a human one.

North Shore Black Bear Society: www.northshorebears.com

Defender Radio Patreon: www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Sign Up For Emails from Defender Radio & The Fur-Bearers: www.thefurbearers.com/updates

Defender Radio on Instagram: www.Instagram.com/HowieMichael

Defender Radio on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DefenderRadio

 

Jun 21, 2019
Celebrating Catios
23:47

Cats love to climb, jump, pounce, and play. Unfortunately, they often want to do this outside, where those skills help them kill wildlife and birds in large numbers and are exposed to innumerous risks to their well-being. It’s not fair to tell cats they can’t be who they are, and it isn’t exactly fair to let them be at risk of causing damage or being injured.

There is, however, a middle ground: catios.

The BC SPCA recently hosted a tour of catios in the Vancouver region with great success and are strong proponents of people giving cats a safe way to live their lives and engage their behaviours fully. Marieke van der Velden , an outreach specialist for the BC SPCA joined Defender Radio to share the secrets of catios and how easily cat lovers can build or buy them for their furry friends.

Learn more about catios: https://spca.bc.ca/catio

Join the Defender Radio Patreon: www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Check out The Young Defenders: www.youngdefenders.ca

Jun 13, 2019
Charlotte Dawe: Crossroads for Caribou Conservation in BC
55:53

Mountain caribou are endangered in British Columbia. It’s a big deal: the federal government has threatened to intervene if plans aren’t put in place to protect them. One plan, worked on heavily by First Nations leaders, is receiving praise. But the plan for at least one other region has huge holes and fails to address some key issues.

While protecting caribou habitat may seem like a straight-forward task, the previous BC provincial government run in a majority by the Liberals and the current government run by an NDP-Green partnership is showing that it’s anything but.

From literally selling the rights to cut down trees in the habitat of the endangered caribou during negotiations to killing wolves despite widespread scientific and ethical opposition to a disturbing rise in racist comments and economic disinformation, it’s been a bit of a confusing journey.

As the consultation period winds down – and links to actions on that are included in this week’s show notes – I wanted to take some time to break out the points, challenge the myths, and hear opposing opinions to what industry and politicians have spouted. That’s why we connected with Charlotte Dawe, Conservation and Campaign Manager for Wilderness Committee, who patiently listened to my tangents and walked me through the last year of work on this campaign and how you can be part of the solution.

Take action: https://www.wildernesscommittee.org/SouthernMountainCaribou

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Articles mentioned:

Agreements mark ‘turning point’ for six B.C. caribou herds, but leave most herds hanging
https://thenarwhal.ca/agreements-mark-turning-point-six-b-c-caribou-herds-leave-most-herds-hanging/

500 dead wolves vs. 500 lost jobs: Town balks at potential cost of saving caribou in northeastern B.C.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/caribou-jobs-wolves-chetwynd-northeastern-british-columbia-1.5087317

Northern B.C. leaders pressure province to halt caribou plans
https://www.princegeorgematters.com/local-news/northern-bc-leaders-pressure-province-to-halt-caribou-plans-1368244

Caribou protection plan spawns racist backlash in northeast B.C.
http://thenarwhal.ca/caribou-protection-plan-spawns-racist-backlash-in-northeast-b-c/

West Moberly First Nations chief denounces 'fear mongering' over caribou protection plan
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/caribou-draft-plan-west-moberly-chief-racism-jobs-1.5102961

The 0.1% that trappers contribute to nature-based economics
https://thefurbearers.com/blog/the-01-that-trappers-contribute-to-nature-based-economics

 

May 29, 2019
Introducing The Young Defenders
05:38

The Fur-Bearers and Defender Radio are proud to announce the launch of a new project: The Young Defenders, a site and podcast to help youth Defend The Future Of Wildlife And The Environment Through Education, Communication and Kindness.

Visit www.YoungDefenders.ca!

Young Defenders Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theyoungdefenders

Young Defenders Twitter: https://twitter.com/youngdefenders

Young Defenders Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theyoungdefenders/

Defender Radio & Young Defenders Patreon: www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio

 

 

May 24, 2019
PJ Smith of HSUS on: Fur, Fashion and The Future
53:24

PJ is the Director of Fashion Policy at the Humane Society of the United States and has played a major role in getting big brands like Armani to drop fur and institute fur-free policies. We had a wonderful conversation about fur, policy, the historic context of the current fight to #MakeFurHistory, and how his method has proven successful. We even got into self-care and what solutions exist for every advocate who wants to see an end to the use of fur in fashion.

Find out more about PJ's work with HSUS at: www.HumaneSociety.org

Become a Defender Radio Patron at: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Facebook page:

www.Facebook.com/DefenderRadio 

www.YoungDefenders.ca

 

May 16, 2019
The People Who Give A Dam: Protecting Beavers in Belleville
19:02

Defender Radio host Michael Howie spent four days in Belleville, Ontario, where a nearly year-long process to protect beavers after one was found in a trapped reached its conclusion. The interviews included in this episode were recorded in the field with local residents, political leaders, and the inventor of the Beaver Deceiver himself, Skip Lisle.

To donate to The Fur-Bearers' beaver campaign go to: www.TheFurBearers.com/SaveBeavers.

To Read more about The Fur-Bearers' involvement and see more photos from the field, go to: https://thefurbearers.com/blog/victory-protecting-beavers-belleville

To become a support of Defender Radio for as little as $0.25 per episode, go to: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

 

May 08, 2019
100,000 Downloads Special Report
04:43

Host Michael Howie shares the news that Defender Radio has reached 100,000 downloads, and gets a surprise midway through recording!

Support Defender Radio on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Sign up for The Fur-Bearers email updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

Follow Defender Radio on: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Apr 26, 2019
Beyond Easter Bunnies with Ladybird Animal Sanctuary
49:05

It’s the Easter long weekend and you know what that means – bunnies, chicks and other little critters are being discussed, if not bought, as presents. But as many of you know, little animals aren’t just gifts, they’re sentient beings who are a lifetime commitment, require love, patience, veterinary care, and many other things.

A while back I spoke with my friend Lisa Winn from the Ladybird Animal Sanctuary about the subject of bunnies – not just why they shouldn’t be bought and sold as gifts, but what it means to accept a rabbit into your home and family. It was a great interview, so rather than try and remake something special, it made sense to share the original interview again.

Please enjoy past me talking to past Lisa about the future of having a bunny in your family. 

Featured on this episode's cover art: Marcel the bunny.

Check out Ladybird Animal Sanctuary: www.ladybirdanimalsanctuary.com

Join the Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Follow Defender Radio on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Apr 18, 2019
A Discussion On Non-Human Animal Suicide
01:19:29

Have you ever looked over at your dog and cat and wondered, “Are they happy?” If you’re like me, you probably have. But have you ever asked deeper questions, like are they fulfilled, how do they view themselves in relation to the world, and do they consider life after death? I have, but I think it was 4 am on a Tuesday morning and I’d been up for 23 hours.

But that’s what ethicists do, sometimes: they ask hard questions. And Dr. David Peña-Guzmán asked one that I have in all honesty never even considered: can nonhuman animals commit suicide? As an ethicist and associate professor of humanities and Liberal Studies at San Francisco State university, it’s David’s job to ask those questions, which he addresses in his paper Can nonhuman animals commit suicide? What he may not have been prepared for was putting his brilliant paper on the subject in front of me, then dealing with me peppering him with questions for over an hour. And some of these questions: not my best.

But Professor Peña-Guzmán put up with them all and we spent more than an hour discussing his paper, the implications of increased awareness in the realm of animal cognition and sentience, and a whole bunch of rambling from me. It was a ton of fun – David even said so in a follow up email that I choose to believe was in no way sarcastic.

Read the paper: Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?

Join the Defender Radio Patreon

Suicide Prevention / Call Centre (Canada): www.crisisservicescanada.ca

Suicide Prevention / Call Centre (United States): www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

 

Apr 11, 2019
Canada’s Seals and Sea Lions: Under Siege East and West
45:26

The idea of a west coast seal and sea lion hunt or cull popped up earlier this year. It seemed a bit strange, but that perhaps there was some internal logic: killing seals and sea lions who eat fish could help the beleaguered transient and at risk Orca populations, ensure that fish stocks remain healthy enough for commercial use, and maybe exploit a new market for seal and sea lion -based products. But that’s not how science works. In fact, based on some research and the interview you’re about to hear, it seems that killing seals and sea lions would make things worse for Orca populations, potentially create new competition for commercially harvested fish, and cost tax payers millions in attempts to force a new market. Add on top of that the fact that all of this has been looked at on Canada’s east coast – and the millions sunk into that industry have yielded none of the desired results.

I wanted to talk to an expert about this, so I called up my good friend Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who has spent the better part of two decades defending Canada’s seals from exploitation.

The blog we talk about: https://mersociety.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/to-kill-seals-and-sea-lions/

Solid news coverage of the west coast proposal: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-scientists-warn-of-damage-to-ecosystem-after-bc-group-proposes-seal/

Shery's IFAW page: https://www.ifaw.org/canada/news/history-ending-Canadian-commercial-seal-hunt

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio/

 

Apr 04, 2019
Alberta Grizzlies Can Be Rehabilitated
35:36

The science is pretty straight forward when it comes to rehabilitating grizzly bears: it works, and they’re not more likely to come into conflict as a result of rehabilitation. But that hasn’t stopped the Alberta government from continuing to prevent qualified rehabilitators from taking in grizzly cubs – despite the fact that it’s an acceptable and frequent practice one province over in British Columbia, and various other places in Canada and around the world.

Understanding this decision means looking at what grizzly rehabilitation includes, breaking down the government and anti-rehab arguments, and exploring the available science. There’s no one better than biologist Lisa Dahlseide, who helped lead the charge to defeat unscientific policies that prevented black bears and other species from being rehabilitated in Alberta. She joined Defender Radio last week to share her knowledge and analysis.

Learn more about Cochrane Ecological Institute or support their efforts: http://www.ceinst.org/

Support Defender Radio: https://www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Sign up for email notifications: https://www.thefurbearers.com/updates

 

 

 

Mar 28, 2019
Killing Animals to 'Save' Animals
33:44

If you read enough headlines about the environment and wildlife, it won’t be long until you see one like ‘kill wolves to protect endangered caribou.’ In simple terms, the suggested actions by some government-funded researchers or those with a vested interest in killing animals makes sense: if we remove the predator or competition, the population of an animal targeted for conservation will increase.  But that’s not how things work in the real world – particularly when policy writers and elected officials ignore overwhelming scientific evidence and focus on easy answers that won’t have a lasting positive impact.

Charlotte Dawe, a campaigner with Wilderness Committee penned an outstanding article on this issue for The Straight, an online magazine recently, and joined Defender Radio to discuss the concept of killing animals to save animals, science-informed decision making, and how we can all be part of lasting, compassionate solutions for the environment.

More on Wilderness Committee: www.WildernessCommittee.org

The Straight Article by Charlotte Dawe: https://www.straight.com/news/1202836/charlotte-dawe-our-obsession-killing-some-animals-save-others

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Mar 21, 2019
John E. Marriott is Exposing the Cruelty of Snares
23:19

John E. Marriott has taken some of the most breathtaking photos of wildlife that I have ever seen. He’s the keynote speaker at The Fur-Bearers gala event including the Clements Awards on March 30, and he’s been a regular on Defender Radio sharing stories about his adventures, ethical wildlife photography, and conservation.

In his latest episode of the popular web series Exposed With John E. Marriott, John tackles snares – the cruel devices responsible for killing wolves, coyotes, and countless other non-target species across Canada.

To discuss the episode, what he’s learned about government regulation on snares, and why every animal lover should be concerned, John joined Defender Radio.

EXPOSED website: https://exposedwithjohnemarriott.com/

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio/

 

Mar 07, 2019
Boss' Snare Story
24:29

Boss’ story is similar to many others we’ve heard this trapping season, but he was one of the few lucky ones. While on a walk with his guardian near his home in British Columbia, Boss was lured to a baited snare and became entangled. Fortunately, he was able to get loose – but the event injured him and has shaken his family. Now they’re asking questions like why is trapping taking place on a trail that’s listed on tourism websites, and why there were no signs indicating that active, baited traps were in the area.

Amanda Duke joined Defender Radio to share her emotional story about almost losing her companion, and the questions she’s asking.

Take Action To Ban Snares in Canada: www.TheFurBearers.com/Snares

Take Action to Require Warning Signs in BC When Traps Are Active: www.TheFurBearers.com/BCTrapSigns

Defender Radio Patreon (support the podcast): www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

 

Feb 13, 2019
Remembering Titus
37:18

Not long ago, Kimberly Ross and her family lost their beloved companion Titus to a legally set snare. This episode features an emotional interview with Kimberly.

If you are unable or choose not to listen, I understand – but I do ask that you click on the links in our blog or show notes, or head to www.TheFurBearers.com/snares to take action on banning these horrible, inhumane devices. Snares are legal across Canada, and as you will hear, can be set without warning and without setback from publicly accessible recreation areas, property lines, and natural place.

Kimberly spoke with Defender Radio about her family’s experience losing Titus to one of these cruel devices, and how she hopes her story will save the lives of other pets.

Defender Radio Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DefenderRadio/

Defender Radio Twitter: https://twitter.com/defenderradio

Defender Radio Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/howiemichael/

Defender Radio Patreon: http://www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

 

Feb 06, 2019
Defender Radio's 2019 Kickoff Video
02:19

One year ago today, I spoke about hope in a video like this. It's been a long year, with loss and pain, but I know together we can make change for ourselves, and the world.

Listen to Defender Radio:
Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/defender-radio/id718357541&ls=1

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/defender-radio

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/53h2PqGuJCc5qZgvtVvVmx

Web: www.TheFurBearers.com/Podcast

 

Jan 03, 2019
The Bandit Who Gave Back Christmas
14:37

Reggie Raccoon is looking forward to a day of loot on December 25. Will his greed reign, or will the spirit of giving find its way into his heart? 

The Bandit Who Gave Back Christmas was written by Marisa King, who also co-directed, and played the parts of Narrator, Snickers, Stickles, and Sniggles. Marisa King is a local actor, director and animal advocate and can be heard on numerous podcasts including "The End of Time and Other Bothers", "Alba Salix: Royal Physician" and "The Axe and Crown".

Sean Howard played Reggie Raccoon and can be heard as the Game Master in The End of Time and Other Bothers and is a co-writer and co-producer on the award-winning Alba Salix: Royal Physician. He can also been seen as a founding member of the improv troupe Executive Indecision. Hear more from him at www.OtherBothers.com.

Kristi Boulton played Skitters Squirrel and Reggie’s mum. She is an actress, singer, improviser and storyteller based out of Hamilton, ON. When she's not on stage or behind a mic, you can find her following her other passions like puppeteering or, photography or videography around the GTA.

This episode was recorded in part by Eli McIlveen. Eli is the creator of Alba Salix: Royal Physician, and has recorded, edited and sound designed some of today's top audio drama podcasts. Learn more about him at EliMcIlveen.com.

Special thanks to Marc Nascimento of Super 1Up Games in Hamilton for being the official production wrangler of JJ The Hamilton Hound.

On behalf of everyone who worked on this project and all of the team at The Fur-Bearers, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and May your tail always be striped and may your compost bin always be full.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

 

Dec 19, 2018
Know Your Rights While You Fight For Theirs
41:33

Protest and activism are a cornerstone of change, particularly in social issues. While our right to protest and speak are guaranteed by law in both Canada and the United States, some law enforcement agencies push back at those participating in protest or activism – at times beyond their rights.

Understanding what your rights are is important for all advocates, but especially for those who hit the pavement as part of their advocacy. From knowing how to keep yourself and those around you safe to what to say when things go wrong, there’s a lot to learn. And to help get started on the path of learning, Bina Ahmad, a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan, New York, joined Defender Radio to discuss activists’ rights, how to interact with law enforcement, and when it’s time to call a lawyer.

Legal Aid New Society of New York: https://www.legalaidnyc.org

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Dec 05, 2018
Intolerable Cruelty: The Science Behind Snares and Strychnine
38:00

Before we get started, I want to put out a general advisory – in this episode we will be speaking in a matter-of-fact tone about the cruelty of snare traps and the poison strychnine. You will hear details about how these devices work and the devastation they cause in plain language and that may be upsetting to some listeners.

Dr. Gilbert Proulx has seen a lot in his years as a field biologist. And he’s had enough.

Dr. Proulx runs Alpha Wildlife Research and Management Limited, where he conducts in-field research, writes and edits studies, consults with landowners, businesses, and governments, and publishes papers on a variety of wildlife-related issues. Dr. Proulx has often delved into science-based ethical topics, too, and that’s the basis of his latest publication.

There is a clear body of evidence that killing neck snares and strychnine poison are inhumane – some of it developed by Dr. Proulx himself – yet trappers and governments continue to endorse both methods of killing for thousands of animals every year. Dr. Proulx’s new book, Intolerable Cruelty: The Truth Behind Kiling Neck Snares and Strychnine, is an accumulation of hard evidence, experience, and a clear case to end the use of these inhumane tools.

Dr. Proulx joined Defender Radio to discuss killing neck snares and strychnine in detail, as well as alternatives to lethal control and why governments, wildlife managers, and trappers continue to use methods that can scientifically and ethically be defined as cruel.

Order your copy of Intolerable Cruelty: https://intolerable-cruelty.convertri.com/book-release

Read more from Dr. Gilbert Proulx: www.alphawildlife.ca

Defender Radio Patreon: www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Nov 28, 2018
Capitalism and Conservation
42:00

The  World Wildlife Fund issued their bi-annual Living Planet report in late October, and it painted a dark reality: humanity has wiped out 60% of animal life on the planet since the 1970s, and that we are marching toward ecological disaster due to our consumption of food and resources.

The media had something of a field day with this – experts from WWF and other organizations spoke at length on the various aspects of the Living Planet report, often using broad terms such as humanity or society. But one essay challenged readers to consider a more specific issue – capitalism.

Dr. Anna Pigott, a postdoctoral research fellow studying environmental humanities at Swansea University in Wales, penned the essay titled “Capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’”.

Dr. Pigott joined Defender Radio to discuss the essay and her motivations for writing it, managing the curious comments and conversation that have arisen online, and what it means to imagine solutions to socioecological concerns.

Read the essay: https://theconversation.com/capitalism-is-killing-the-worlds-wildlife-populations-not-humanity-106125

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Nov 21, 2018
Animal Law: Funding, Frustrations, and Finding Solutions for Change
18:57

Changes at the OSPCA, concerns about an NGO being in law enforcement, and the importance of filing reports, complaints, and creating paper trails are discussed with Animal Justice Executive Director Camille Labchuk.

Learn more about Animal Justice at www.animaljustice.ca

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Nov 14, 2018
Special Report: Recognizing and Preventing Bloat
07:34

If you follow host Michael Howie on social media, you’ll know that last week his dog JJ required emergency surgery for a critical, and unpredictable ailment. Fortunately, he knew how to identify this deadly illness and was able to get her to the Mississauga Oakville Emergency Veterinary Hospital in time. Surgery was performed around 2 am Friday morning, and JJ was declared fit to come home and recover Saturday afternoon.

As a result, this special report is going to focus on bloat (Gastric Dilatation and volvulus or GDV) – what it is, how to identify it, and some simple measures to help mitigate risks. This is not a replacement for medical advice, and you should immediately contact a veterinarian if you’re concerned your dog is ill. The articles referenced from PetMD.com can be found by clicking here.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Nov 07, 2018
Shifting Paradigms in Alberta (605)
30:20

Wilderness, Wildlife and Human Interaction - Changing the Paradigm is being hosted by the Cochrane Ecological Institute at the Cochrane Ranchouse on November 10.  With an impressive lineup of speakers including scientists, advocates, and rehabilitators, it is surely an event that could help shift the paradigm.

Discussing this is Lisa Dahlseide, an organizer of the event, biologist, bear hero, and volunteer with Cochrane Ecological Institute. Lisa also spoke to the positive news that two bear cubs (including one featured on this week’s episode art) will be allowed to hibernate with CEI and be released in the spring.

Book your tickets for this event now at https://www.cochraneresearchinstitute.org/2018-new-vision---changing-the-paradigm.html

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMails: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Oct 31, 2018
Highs and Lows: Exploring the Impacts of Global Warming on Species’ Elevational Distributions
24:10

How are ecosystems responding to the warming of the planet? It’s a big question, and there isn’t a single answer. But specific questions are being asked to help build a better idea of what’s happening globally. Two such questions were asked by Dr. Ben Freeman and his colleagues in a paper published in Global Ecology and Biogeography titled Expanding, shifting and shrinking: The impact of global warming on species’ elevational distributions.

Specifically, Dr. Freeman tested a classic ecology theory that predicts “temperature more directly influences species’ cool range limits than their warm range limits.” They also tried to determine “how warming‐associated shifts have changed the extent and area of species’ elevational distributions.”

To explain what the team found – as well as why it matters and how it could influence our thinking in policy creation, Dr. Freeman joined Defender Radio.

Read the study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/geb.12774

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Oct 17, 2018
603: The Advocate's Counsellor
44:28

CONTENT WARNING: trauma, anger, depression, anxiety, grief, and issues related to mental health today

Liz Sinclair Ruth was a vegetarian at a young age. She went on to become a successful veterinarian, helping to literally save the lives of thousands of animals. Today, she is a counsellor in Guelph, Ontario, and saving more lives that she ever could have imagined.

I spent some time with Liz at her office several weeks ago where we discussed important issues for the well-being of advocates such as managing strong emotions like anger and grief, the importance of taking time for self-care and finding effective tools, and how to ask for help.

Connect with Liz: https://www.lizsinclairkruthcounselling.com/

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Oct 10, 2018
602: #LiveWarm With Wuxly Movement
21:39

Wuxly Movement is the animal-free, made-in-Canada outerwear brand that animal lovers across Canada are raving about. Full disclosure – I myself have two of the jackets and they’re ridiculously warm and comfortable. Inspired to create a winter coat that wasn’t adorned with coyote fur or stuffed with goose down, James Yurichuk and his long-time friend Anthony DeBartolo developed Wully Outerwear, which was recently rebranded to Wuxly Movement.

A direct competitor to outerwear companies that use real fur or down, seeing Wuxly Movement gear on the street means, quite literally, that lives of animals were saved.

I visited James at the Trinity-Bellwoods office of Wuxly Movement to discuss the history of the outerwear company, the brand update, and what the Wuxly Movement has their sights set on next.

Wuxly Movement: www.Wuxly.ca

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

 

Oct 05, 2018
602: #LiveWarm With Wuxly Movement (NEWS BRIEF EDITION)
06:02

Wuxly Movement is the animal-free, made-in-Canada outerwear brand that animal lovers across Canada are raving about. Full disclosure – I myself have two of the jackets and they’re ridiculously warm and comfortable. Inspired to create a winter coat that wasn’t adorned with coyote fur or stuffed with goose down, James Yurichuk and his long-time friend Anthony DeBartolo developed Wully Outerwear, which was recently rebranded to Wuxly Movement.

A direct competitor to outerwear companies that use real fur or down, seeing Wuxly Movement gear on the street means, quite literally, that lives of animals were saved.

Get the details in five with this news brief!

Wuxly Movement: www.Wuxly.ca

Defender Radio Patreon: www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Oct 02, 2018
601: Conservation by Regulating Hunting
31:36

Those in consumptive wildlife activities – hunting and trapping – like to say that they’re responsible for conservation of many species. And, in some ways, they are. But there’s an important difference between the concept of hunting to conserve and regulating hunting to conserve. And that’s the subject of a paper by Dr. Adrian Treves, along with Drs. Kyle Artelle and Paul Paquet.

Differentiating between regulation and hunting as conservation interventions, published in the August 2018 edition of Conservation Biology, takes on the difference a word can make in conversation and policy.

Dr. Treves joined the show to tell us more about this paper, why that single word matters, and what this paper, and the discussion surrounding it, could do for conservation moving forward.

Read the paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.13211

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMail Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Sep 28, 2018
601 - Conservation By Regulating Hunting (NEWS BRIEF EDITION)
05:05

Those in consumptive wildlife activities – hunting and trapping – like to say that they’re responsible for conservation of many species. And, in some ways, they are. But there’s an important difference between the concept of hunting to conserve and regulating hunting to conserve. And that’s the subject of a paper by Dr. Adrian Treves, along with Drs. Kyle Artelle and Paul Paquet.

Differentiating between regulation and hunting as conservation interventions, published in the August 2018 edition of Conservation Biology, takes on the difference a word can make in conversation and policy. 

Hear more in this five-minute news brief! The full interview will be available later this week.

Read the paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.13211

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Sep 25, 2018
Success or Failure: Measuring Predator Removal (533)
28:35

Wildlife conflict is a major issue across Canada and around the world. As humans continue to alter landscapes, break down connectivity of ecosystems and attempt to control environments without consideration for the complex relationships between predators, prey, and other organisms, it seems that this conflict is increasing. Increasing alongside this is the need for research into how to prevent and mitigate conflict. A recent literature review, supplemented with original research findings by the author, highlights some of the major flaws in how humans have been managing predator conflict.

Robert James Lennox, a PhD candidate at Carleton University, and his coauthors conducted a review into existing studies on predator removal. Their results were published in a study titled ‘Evaluating the efficacy of predator removal in a conflict-prone world’ in the August 2018 edition of the journal Biological Conservation.

Robert found, in paraphrased words of his abstract, that predator removal only showed efficacy in the short-term, and tended to be an ineffective and costly approach to conflict prevention and resolution. The results of his review also showed that co-existence methods were more successful.

While on a research trip in French Polynesia, Robert found time to join Defender Radio to discuss his motivations for the paper, the difficulties in defining success and failure, and why more research into predator management and co-existence matters.

Special thanks to Dr. Michelle Booze for technical scientific assistance on this episode!

Read the study: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325857871_Evaluating_the_efficacy_of_predator_removal_in_a_conflict-prone_world

Join the Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Sign up for Defender Radio eMails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Jul 11, 2018
NEWS BRIEF - 533: Success or Failure: Measuring Predator Removal
06:40

Wildlife conflict is a major issue across Canada and around the world. As humans continue to alter landscapes, break down connectivity of ecosystems and attempt to control environments without consideration for the complex relationships between predators, prey, and other organisms, it seems that this conflict is increasing. Increasing alongside this is the need for research into how to prevent and mitigate conflict. A recent literature review, supplemented with original research findings by the author, highlights some of the major flaws in how humans have been managing predator conflict.

Robert James Lennox, a PhD candidate at Carleton University, and his coauthors conducted a review into existing studies on predator removal. Their results were published in a study titled ‘Evaluating the efficacy of predator removal in a conflict-prone world’ in the August 2018 edition of the journal Biological Conservation.

Robert found, in paraphrased words of his abstract, that predator removal only showed efficacy in the short-term, and tended to be an ineffective and costly approach to conflict prevention and resolution. The results of his review also showed that co-existence methods were more successful.

While on a research trip in French Polynesia, Robert found time to join Defender Radio to discuss his motivations for the paper, the difficulties in defining success and failure, and why more research into predator management and co-existence matters.

Read the study: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325857871_Evaluating_the_efficacy_of_predator_removal_in_a_conflict-prone_world

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMails: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Jul 09, 2018
532: End of Time and Other Bothers Episode 2!
52:45

What! Still not Defender Radio? That’s right, it’s the SECOND episode of The End of Time and Other Bothers. You can go back to an earlier episode and hear a full interview with the cast, creators, and myself and why I wanted to share this special show on my birthday week. Or you can listen and enjoy! More episodes can be found at iTunes, OtherBothers.com, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Episode Two: The Academy of the Fallen, Part 1

Darcy, Blat and Eggerton find themselves thrown back through time to a strange town.

Get more at OtherBothers.com, subscribe on iTunes, or laugh along wherever you listen to podcasts!

Jul 03, 2018
532: The End of Time and Other Bothers Episode 1!
01:04:53

Hey – this isn’t Defender Radio! That’s right, it’s the first episode of The End of Time and Other Bothers. You can go back to an earlier episode and hear a full interview with the cast, creators, and myself and why I wanted to share this special show on my birthday week. Or you can listen and enjoy! More episodes can be found at iTunes, OtherBothers.com, or anywhere you listen to podcasts. 

Episode One: The End

Blat the half-demon has a calamity in the filing room. Eggerton the fairy gives a fateful presentation. And Darcy the human realizes she is being hunted. 

Get more at OtherBothers.com, subscribe on iTunes, or laugh along wherever you listen to podcasts!

Jul 03, 2018
The End of Time and Other Bothers (Mike's Geeky Birthday Episode) (532)
37:23

It’s my birthday! Well, it’s my birthday week. And since everyone has to do what I say for the rest of the week, we’re going to take a step away from the usual topics we cover on Defender Radio. Don’t worry – I have an awesome interview with Robert Lennox, whose work on a predator removal study is discussed all the way from his current location in French Polynesia. But that’s next week, because this week it’s my birthday!

As some of you may know I’m a bit of a geek. I love playing video games, table top games, and role-playing games. I also enjoy comedy audio dramas, like old fashioned radio plays, and improv. I’m very fortunate that two of my very favourite people in the world, Sean Howard and Eli McIlveen have created a fantasy comedy podcast I love: Alba Salix Royal Physician. And when they said they wanted to do a Dungeons and Dragons-type game in that universe, using improv and incredible friends and performers Marisa King and Carter Siddall, which would then be published as a podcast, I jumped at the chance. Literally. Sean may still have a bruise.

The End of Time and Other Bothers was born and episode six released just last week. On the weekend, I sat down with Sean, Eli, Marisa, and Carter and we talked about the game, how a decision to be empathetic to animals and others in our world transformed the story, and why we end up laughing and laughing every time we play together. As an added bonus, the next two episodes in your Defender Radio podcast feed are the first two episodes of The End of Times and Other Bothers! I’ll tell you more about how to listen to that show after our interview.

If you want to listen to the first two episodes of The End of Time and Other Bothers just click ‘next’ in your podcast feed! You can also visit otherbothers.com to learn more about episodes, the cast, and how you can get access to behind the scenes footage, outtakes, and more.

Listen to The End of Time and Other Bothers on iTunes here! 

Jul 03, 2018
Getting To Know The Humane Education Coalition (531)
24:55

Humane education is pretty awesome – we can all agree on that, right? But what exactly humane education looks like, how it’s delivered, and even what the goals are can be different from person to person, and organization to organization.

I was very fortunate to get to spend some time with Megan Moon, the Executive Direction of the Humane Education Coalition. This relatively young organization is looking to expand the impact of humane education around the globe by offering resources, research, and more to partners from all walks of life.

Megan joined Defender Radio to share the story of the Humane Education Coalition, dive into some of the programs, research, and resources they’re developing, and share how people can get involved.

Humane Education Coalition: www.HECoalition.org

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Jun 28, 2018
NEWS BRIEF - 531: Getting To Know The Humane Education Coalition
04:56

Humane education is pretty awesome – we can all agree on that, right? But what exactly humane education looks like, how it’s delivered, and even what the goals are can be different from person to person, and organization to organization.

I was very fortunate to get to spend some time with Megan Moon, the Executive Director of the Humane Education Coalition. This relatively young organization is looking to expand the impact of humane education around the globe by offering resources, research, and more to partners from all walks of life.

Megan joined Defender Radio to share the story of the Humane Education Coalition, dive into some of the programs, research, and resources they’re developing, and share how people can get involved.

This is a news brief edit of our interview. The full interview will be available later this week at TheFurBearers.com, on iTunes, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

The Humane Education Coalition: www.hecoalition.org

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNewsletter: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Jun 25, 2018
Bryce Casavant On Co-existing With Cougars (530)
48:44

Cougars have been in the news recently, particularly in British Columbia. Conflict with Canada’s big cats isn’t overly common, but when cougars end up in communities, lethal action seems to be the first response. And that’s why we called up Bryce Casavant.

Bryce is a former Conservation Officer who made international headlines when he refused orders to kill two healthy bear cubs. Educating residents on safely co-existing with wildlife remains a passion of his, as he writes for his own blog and as is frequently contacted by media to serve as an expert source.

He joined Defender Radio to discuss who cougars are, how to distinguish between sensationalism and fact, and what we can all do to promote co-existence with cougars and other wildlife across Canada.

Defender Radio Patreon - www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails - www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Jun 14, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 530 - Bryce Casavant On Co-existing With Cougars
05:28

Cougars have been in the news recently, particularly in British Columbia. Conflict with Canada’s big cats isn’t overly common, but when cougars end up in communities, lethal action seems to be the first response. And that’s why we called up Bryce Casavant.

Bryce is a former Conservation Officer who made international headlines when he refused orders to kill two healthy bear cubs. Educating residents on safely co-existing with wildlife remains a passion of his, as he writes for his own blog and as is frequently contacted by media to serve as an expert source. He joined Defender Radio to discuss who cougars are, how to distinguish between sensationalism and fact, and what we can all do to promote co-existence with cougars and other wildlife across Canada.

This is a news brief version of our interview – the full interview will be made available later this week at TheFurBearers.com, iTunes, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Email List: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Jun 11, 2018
Dr. Anna Zakrisson On (breaking out of our echo chambers, the use of magic science wands, serving science by stealth) Her Imaginarium (529)
43:32

Science literacy is growing more important by the day – particularly for advocates looking to make change in the lives of animals and the environment. But between complex, academic papers, bureaucrats and others who don’t fully explain theories or provide citations, and the world of instant-access social media, it isn’t always easy to be on the side of fact. That’s why the job of the science communicator is becoming vital – and that’s why I wanted to talk to the best science communicator I know, Dr. Anna Zakrisson.

Dr. Anna’s Imaginarium is a brilliant collection of podcasts, social media groups, and videos – as well as a new business – that allows Anna to discuss all sorts of topics and issues related to science. With her PhD in biology and love of talking about science, she was the perfect person to join Defender Radio and explore what science literacy is, why social media could be making it harder to think critically, and how we can do better as advocates, content creators, scientists, and content consumers.

Doctor Anna's Imaginarium: www.annazakrisson.com

Send Your Review Screengrab to: michael@thefurbearers.com

Defender Radio Patreon: www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Email Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

May 30, 2018
NEWS BRIEF - 529: Dr. Anna Zakrisson On (breaking out of our echo chambers, the use of magic science wands, serving science by stealth) Her Imaginarium
06:01

Science literacy is growing more important by the day – particularly for advocates looking to make change in the lives of animals and the environment. But between complex, academic papers, bureaucrats and others who don’t fully explain theories or provide citations, and the world of instant-access social media, it isn’t always easy to be on the side of fact. That’s why the job of the science communicator is becoming vital – and that’s why I wanted to talk to the best science communicator I know, Dr. Anna Zakrisson.

Dr. Anna’s Imaginarium is a brilliant collection of podcasts, social media groups, and videos – as well as a new business – that allows Anna to discuss all sorts of topics and issues related to science. With her PhD in biology and love of talking about science, she was the perfect person to join Defender Radio and explore what science literacy is, why social media could be making it harder to think critically, and how we can do better as advocates, content creators, scientists, and content consumers.

Dr. Anna's Imaginarium website: www.AnnaZakrisson.com

Email a screen grab of your review: michael@thefurbearers.com 

Support Defender Radio: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Get Defender Radio Email Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

May 28, 2018
On Oiled Wildlife (528)
20:26

It’s just about impossible to be Canadian and not hear about pipelines, oil, tankers, and other environmental and political hot potatoes in British Columbia and Alberta. But in much of the debates, regardless of which side you fall on, there is one element often forgotten: wildlife.

The impact of oil and other materials on wildlife can be extreme, and there is little in the way of support for the professional and volunteer rehabilitators who try to help the animals. Fortunately, training is available, and there are dedicated individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to help animals who come into contact with oil. To discuss what specialized treatment is required, how animals are able to recover from oil spills and other incidents, and what the public can do to help, Defender Radio was joined by Linda Bakker of the Wildlife Rescue Association.

Wildlife Rescue Association: www.WildlifeRescue.ca

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

Photo provided by Wildlife Rescue Association

May 24, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 528 - On Oiled Wildlife
05:24

It’s just about impossible to be Canadian and not hear about pipelines, oil, tankers, and other environmental and political hot potatoes in British Columbia and Alberta. But in much of the debates, regardless of which side you fall on, there is one element often forgotten: wildlife.

The impact of oil and other materials on wildlife can be extreme, and there is little in the way of support for the professional and volunteer rehabilitators who try to help the animals. Fortunately, training is available, and there are dedicated individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to help animals who come into contact with oil. To discuss what the specialized treatment is required, how animals are able to recover from oil spills and other incidents, and what the public can do to help, Defender Radio was joined by Linda Bakker of the Wildlife Rescue Association.

This is a news brief edit of the interview – a full version will be made available later this week at TheFurBearers.com, iTunes, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Emails: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

May 22, 2018
New Evidence Puts A Target On Predator Bounties (527)
42:22

A hint of anger or disgust can be heard when conversation turns to wolves and coyotes in some communities – particularly those where managing livestock pays the bills. A long-held belief in many regions of the world – including many parts of Canada – is that eliminating these predators will protect livestock. Though numerous studies show that bounties or culls are ineffective at this, the practice remains in place.

Dr. Gilbert Proulx of Alpha Wildlife Research & Management, along with Sadie Parr of Wolf Awareness Inc., wanted to test some of the beliefs surrounding cattle and wild canids. In their paper Is Livestock An Important Food Resource For Coyotes and Wolves in Central Eastern Alberta Counties with Predator Control Bounties?, the duo tested three hypotheses based on assertations supporting bounties. The results showed, simply, that cattle isn’t an important food resource and  that a bounty made no difference in the amount of cattle consumed by coyotes and wolves. The results also led to the recommendation that the bounties be discontinued.

With communities spending tens of thousands of limited budgets on ineffective bounties, individual animals being killed, and ecosystems being irreparably damaged, this science is more important than ever. Dr. Gilbert Proulx joined Defender Radio to discuss the science behind the research, some of the factors that lead to the belief that predators are killing livestock, and what’s necessary to move forward from this outdated model of management.

Read the paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325010330_Is_Livestock_an_Important_Food_Resource_for_Coyotes_and_Wolves_in_Central_Eastern_Alberta_Counties_with_Predator_Control_Bounties_Original_Research

Join the Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/Defenderradio

Get Defender Radio email updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

May 16, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 527 - New Evidence Puts A Target On Predator Bounties
05:03

A hint of anger or disgust can be heard when conversation turns to wolves and coyotes in some communities – particularly those where managing livestock pays the bills. A long-held belief in many regions of the world – including many parts of Canada – is that eliminating these predators will protect livestock. Though numerous studies show that bounties or culls are ineffective at this, the practice remains in place.

Dr. Gilbert Proulx of Alpha Wildlife Research & Management, along with Sadie Parr of Wolf Awareness Inc., wanted to test some of the beliefs surrounding cattle and wild canids. In their paper Is Livestock An Important Food Resource For Coyotes and Wolves in Central Eastern Alberta Counties with Predator Control Bounties?, the duo tested three hypotheses based on assertations supporting bounties. The results showed, simply, that cattle isn’t an important food resource and  that a bounty made no difference in the amount of cattle consumed by coyotes and wolves. The results also led to the recommendation that the bounties be discontinued.

With communities spending tens of thousands of limited budgets on ineffective bounties, individual animals being killed, and ecosystems being irreparably damaged, this science is more important than ever. Dr. Gilbert Proulx joined Defender Radio to discuss the science behind the research, some of the factors that lead to the belief that predators are killing livestock, and what’s necessary to move forward from this outdated model of management.

Read the paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325010330_Is_Livestock_an_Important_Food_Resource_for_Coyotes_and_Wolves_in_Central_Eastern_Alberta_Counties_with_Predator_Control_Bounties_Original_Research

Support Defender Radio on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Join the Defender Radio eMail list: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

May 14, 2018
Dr. Max Foran On The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife (526)
48:14

Dr. Max Foran is no stranger to telling Canada’s stories: he’s written dozens of books and articles on subjects ranging from urban sprawl to international trade of historic Alberta. But in his latest project, he takes on a subject steeped in philosophy, history, science, and industry: Canadian wildlife management.

The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife, published in April 2018 by McGill-Queen’s university Press, is an outstanding look at the twisting tale of how wildlife in our country is managed. Perhaps the most all-encompassing book on the subject that does not simply repeat what managers and the political system tell the public, Dr. Foran does a superb job of bringing together the vast array of moving parts, history, and moral-decision making that makes up modern wildlife management. It is an absolute must read – and is accessible for readers of virtually any level, regardless of academic background.

Dr. Foran joined Defender Radio to discuss what drove him to write this book, what he learned along the way as a professional researcher and writer, and what he hopes Canada’s wildlife management policies can become as we move forward.

Get your copy: http://www.mqup.ca/subjugation-of-canadian-wildlife--the-products-9780773553163.php

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Email Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

May 10, 2018
NEWS BRIEF - 526: Dr. Max Foran On The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife
05:49

Dr. Max Foran is no stranger to telling Canada’s stories: he’s written dozens of books and articles on subjects ranging from urban sprawl to international trade of historic Alberta. But in his latest project, he takes on a subject steeped in philosophy, history, science, and industry: Canadian wildlife management.

The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife, published in April 2018 by McGill-Queen’s university Press, is an outstanding look at the twisting tale of how wildlife in our country is managed. Perhaps the most all-encompassing book on the subject that does not simply repeat what managers and the political system tell the public, Dr. Foran does a superb job of bringing together the vast array of moving parts, history, and moral-decision making that makes up modern wildlife management. It is an absolute must read – and is accessible for readers of virtually any level, regardless of academic background.

Dr. Foran joined Defender Radio to discuss what drove him to write this book, what he learned along the way as a professional researcher and writer, and what he hopes Canada’s wildlife management policies can become as we move forward.

This is a news brief edit of our extensive interview. The full interview will be made available later this week on TheFurBearers.com, via your iOS device on the iTunes store, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife: http://www.mqup.ca/subjugation-of-canadian-wildlife--the-products-9780773553163.php

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

 

May 07, 2018
Podcasts With Park Rangers (525)
46:44

There are 417 national Parks and historic sites in the United States National Park system, visited by more than 275 million people every year. Among those numbers is a power couple doing something pretty awesome.

Sarah and Lucas Villa-Kainec want to visit each and every park and site in the national park system – and along the way, they want to share the stories of these remarkable places. But they don’t want to write another travel guide, they want the real stories, told by the people who spend their days – and sometimes a good portion of their lives – at these locations. That’s why they started their new show: Podcasts with Park Rangers.

Sarah and Lucas interview park rangers and share their wonderful, passionate stories about these incredible places, including a love of the flora and fauna of caves, the historical significance of locations, and more. The Villa-Kainecs joined Defender Radio to share their story about the stories – and what listeners to this new podcast can expect to learn about national parks, RVing from park to park with their cats, and what makes these locations so special.

Listen to Podcasts With Park Rangers: www.PodcastsWithParkRangers.com

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Email Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

May 02, 2018
NEWS BRIEF - 525: Podcasts With Park Rangers
06:15

Sarah and Lucas Villa-Kainec want to visit each and every park and site in the national park system – and along the way, they want to share the stories of these remarkable places. But they don’t want to write another travel guide, they want the real stories, told by the people who spend their days – and sometimes a good portion of their lives – at these locations. That’s why they started their new show: Podcasts with Park Rangers.

Sarah and Lucas interview park rangers and share their wonderful, passionate stories about these incredible places, including a love of the flora and fauna of caves, the historical significance of locations, and more. The Villa-Kainecs joined Defender Radio to share their story about the stories – and what listeners to this new podcast can expect to learn about national parks, RV'ing from park to park with their cats, and what makes these locations so special.

Listen To Podcasts With Park Rangers at www.PodcastsWithParkRangers.com.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Apr 30, 2018
Getting Schooled on Canada's Commercial Seal Hunt (524)
27:33

The East coast seal hunt has started in Canada, and with it a fierce public relations campaign from two sides: those who support the seal hunt, and those who oppose it. While the facts are available there are groups and individuals who pass on misinformation and disinformation regarding the hunt from both camps.

That’s why we turn to Canadian seal hunt expert Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare for answers. Using publicly available government documents, citing sources, and speaking plainly, Sheryl provides a fact-based look at the inherently inhumane hunt and helps Canadians and an international audience of animal lovers understand what’s happening in the east coast seal hunt.

Sheryl joined Defender Radio to discuss the seal hunt, dismiss some disinformation, and address myths surrounding the commercial seal hunt.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Apr 26, 2018
NEWS BRIEF - 524: Getting Schooled on Canada’s Commercial Seal Hunt
05:16

The East coast seal hunt has started in Canada, and with it, a fierce public relations campaign from two sides: those who support the seal hunt, and those who oppose it. While the facts are available there are groups and individuals who pass on misinformation and disinformation regarding the hunt from both camps. That’s why I turn to my good friend and Canadian seal hunt expert, Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare for answers. Using publicly available government documents, citing sources, and speaking plainly, Sheryl provides a fact-based look at the inherently inhumane hunt and helps Canadians and an international audience of animal lovers understand what’s happening in the east coast seal hunt.

Sheryl joined Defender Radio to discuss the seal hunt, dismiss some disinformation, and address myths surrounding the commercial seal hunt.

A full version of this interview will be available later this week.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio email updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Apr 23, 2018
Mike McIntosh Talks Living With Spring Bears (523)
23:08

From BC to the east coast, black bears are waking up and wandering about as winter finally gives way to spring. The best person to talk to about bears is a man who spends time rehabilitating them, teaching others to co-exist with them, and kind of looking like one when his hair gets extra scruffy: Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us. Defender Radio connected with Mike and talked spring bear adventures, feeding of bears and other attractants, and why rehabilitation of bears anywhere in Canada can be successful.

A shortened version of this interview is available as a News Brief at TheFurBearers.com, the iTunes store, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

To learn more about Mike and Bear With Us, visit www.BearWithUs.org.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Apr 19, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 523 - Mike McIntosh Talks Living With Spring Bears
05:16

Bears! In British Columbia they’re starting to wander about, and across the rest of the country they’re waiting out the final days of winter before venturing into the world. 

The best person to talk to about bears is a man who spends time rehabilitating them, teaching others to co-exist with them, and kind of looking like one when his hair gets extra scruffy: Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us. We connected and talked spring bear adventures, feeding of bears and other attractants, and why rehabilitation of bears anywhere in Canada can be successful.

This is a brief edit of our full interview. The full version will be available later this week at TheFurBearers.com, in the iTunes store, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

Bear With Us: www.BearWithUs.org

 

Apr 16, 2018
Tell Dani Reiss & Canada Goose That You're Going To Refuse The Goose! (522)
04:57

This week I’ve got a special episode for you. I’m going to tell you about the #RefuseTheGoose campaign we’ve launched, targeting Canada Goose for their ongoing use of coyote fur. If you just want to get straight to signing the letter and sharing with your friends and family, head to TheFurBearers.com/refusethegoose.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Canada Goose and coyote fur, let’s start at the beginning. And don’t worry – I won’t be using graphic language.

Take Action: https://goo.gl/sjsdeq

Fur Free Retailer Program: https://furfreeretailer.com

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Sign Up for Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Apr 11, 2018
Co-Existing With Coyotes In Suburban Burlington (521)
35:02

LaSalle Park in Burlington, Ontario, is a beautiful area, right on the shore of Lake Ontario. It’s a diverse area, full of wildlife, walking trails, and natural history. But it’s also where some individuals have complained coyotes are spending time, and not reacting how residents believe the wild canids should. I spent a few hours with Lesley Sampson, co-founder and president of Coyote Watch Canada, walking the trails, discussing what factors could lead to behaviour in coyotes that is received as troubling, and what we can do about it.  Following our walk, we recorded a conversation in the parking lot of LaSalle Park to review our thoughts and observations.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

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Apr 06, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: Co-existing With Coyotes In Suburban Burlington (521)
05:02

LaSalle Park in Burlington, Ontario, is a beautiful area, right on the shore of Lake Ontario. It’s a diverse area, full of wildlife, walking trails, and natural history. But it’s also where some individuals have complained coyotes are spending time, and not reacting how residents believe the wild canids should. I spent a few hours with Lesley Sampson, cofounder and president of Coyote Watch Canada, walking the trails, discussing what factors could lead to behaviour in coyotes that is received as troubling, and what we can do about it.  Following our walk, we recorded a conversation in the parking lot of LaSalle Park to review our thoughts.

This episode is a news brief edit of our interview. A full version will be available later this week at TheFurBearers.com, the iTunes store, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eNews: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Apr 04, 2018
The Science That Shows Government Wildlife Management Is Unscientific (520)
35:52

We’ve all heard the phrase Wildlife management should be science-based. It’s spoken loudly by advocates who are opposed to all hunting and trapping, those who think hunting and trapping is all that stands between humanity and bedlam, and everyone in between.

But is wildlife management in North America actually science-based? That’s the question posed by a team of scientists from Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Their study, Hallmarks of science missing from North American wildlife management”, published by Science Advances earlier this month, asked this question: and came up with some disturbing results.

Defender Radio connected with Dr. Kyle Artelle, one of the authors of the study to get a deeper understanding of what the team found.

A five-minute edit of this interview is also available at TheFurBearers.com, in the iTunes store, or where ever you listen to podcasts.

Read the study: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/3/eaao0167.full

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMail Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Mar 28, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 520 - The Science That Shows Government Wildlife Management Is Unscientific
05:31

We’ve all heard the phrase Wildlife management should be science-based. It’s spoken loudly by advocates who are opposed to all hunting and trapping, those who think hunting and trapping is all that stands between humanity and bedlam, and everyone in between.

But is wildlife management in North America actually science-based? That’s the question posed by a team of scientists from Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Their study, Hallmarks of science missing from North American wildlife management”, published by Science Advances earlier this month, asked this question: and came up with some disturbing results.

I connected with Dr. Kyle Artelle, one of the authors of the study to get a deeper understanding of what the team found.

Read the study: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/3/eaao0167.full

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMail UpdateS: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

Mar 26, 2018
Fostering Compassion Thru Storytelling with The Gryphon Press (519)
20:36

The Gryphon Press is a wonderful publishing company The Fur-Bearers met through the Humane Education Coalition. Their children’s books on subjects from adopting dogs, rescuing rabbits, and of course, why the animals need their fur, all reflect the publisher’s tagline: a voice for the voiceless.

Emilie Buchwald, publisher of The Gryphon Press, joined Defender Radio last week to discuss why she came out of retirement to start up a new business that’s published several award-winning books, how truthful stories can create compassion in children, and what Gryphon Press looks for in a story about animals.

A five-minute news brief version of this interview is available at TheFurBearers.com or in your podcast feed.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMails: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Mar 21, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 519 - Fostering Compassion Thru Storytelling
04:34

The Gryphon Press is a wonderful publishing company The Fur-Bearers met through the Humane Education Coalition. Their children’s books on subjects from adopting dogs, rescuing rabbits, and of course, why the animals need their fur, all reflect the publisher’s tagline: a voice for the voiceless.

Emilie Buchwald, publisher of The Gryphon Press, joined Defender Radio last week to discuss why she came out of retirement to start up a new business that’s published several award-winning books, how truthful stories can create compassion in children, and what Gryphon Press looks for in a story about animals.

This is the five-minute radio edit of our interview. The full interview will be available this week at TheFurBearers.com or in your podcast feed.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMail Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Mar 19, 2018
Bryce Casavant and 100 years of Wildlife Records (518)
32:26

You’ve probably heard the name Bryce Casavant: he’s the former Conservation Officer in British Columbia who made headlines when he refused an order to kill two healthy bear cubs. He also ran as an NDP candidate in the last provincial election in BC and continues to work for the government in the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. But it is his efforts as a student that has Bryce back into the news.

Bryce is working toward a doctoral degree in social sciences with Royal Roads University, and his area of study should come as no surprise: wildlife, law enforcement, and social change. Recently, Bryce was given the go-ahead to pursue a review of 100 years of wildlife enforcement records, described as a critical discourse analysis.  Bryce joined Defender Radio to get into what his research will look at, why it matters, and how understanding the history of wildlife enforcement could lead to a better world for people – and the animals.

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMail Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Mar 15, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 518 - Bryce Casavant and 100 Years of Wildlife Records
05:11

You’ve probably heard the name Bryce Casavant: he’s the former Conservation Officer in British Columbia who made headlines when he refused an order to kill two healthy bear cubs. He also ran as an NDP candidate in the last provincial election in BC, and continues to work for the government in the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. But it is his efforts as a student that has Bryce back into the news.

Bryce is working toward a doctoral degree in social sciences with Royal Rhodes University, and his area of study should come as no surprise: wildlife, law enforcement, and social change. Recently, Bryce was given the go-ahead to pursue a review of 100 years of wildlife enforcement records, described as a critical discourse analysis.

Hear more in this News Brief - the full interview will be available later this week on your podcast feed!

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio eMail Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Mar 13, 2018
The BC SPCA Is Helping People Be AnimalKind (517)
22:41

While we all love wildlife and want to co-exist with the animals, sharing our bedrooms and walls with them isn’t exactly ideal; many species can cause significant electrical or structural damage to homes or businesses, putting everyone at risk. Some species do carry diseases that are harmful, particularly in locations like hospitals or restaurants. And, if you’re like me, having a squirrel scrabbling around in the vents causes the dogs to go absolutely insane.

Safely and removing wildlife is an important job that should often be left to experts – but who exactly are the experts, and what makes them humane operators are long standing questions. And now, the BC SPCA wants to help answer them.

The BC SPCA launched AnimalKind last week, a program that will help residents and business owners find accredited wildlife removal or pest control companies who put humane treatment of animals first. Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer for the BC SPCA joined Defender Radio to explain the need for AnimalKind, how it was developed, and why it will benefit people, businesses, and the animals.

You can hear a five-minute edit of this interview in the News Brief released earlier this week in your podcast feed.

Defender Radio Patreon - www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio EMail Updates - www.TheFurBearers.com/updates

 

Mar 07, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 517 - The BC SPCA Is Helping People Be AnimalKind
04:50

The BC SPCA launched AnimalKind last week, a program that will help residents and business owners find accredited wildlife removal or control companies who put humane treatment of animals first. I connected with Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer for the BC SPCA to talk more about this program.

The full interview will be available on Wednesday, March 7!

Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio

Defender Radio Email Updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/Updates

 

Mar 05, 2018
The Time Of The Raccoons (516)
33:00

I love raccoons. They’re smart little problem-solvers, who have learned to adapt into a landscape that’s difficult to navigate for a non-human animal and taken up an essential role in many ecosystems. But the furry bandits’ cuteness isn’t enough to prevent media from maligning them, social media posts blaming them for human-centric problems, and keeping them safe when conflict does occur. That said, their cuteness can be too much: some advocates and animal lovers may go too far in trying to help raccoons, which creates new issues, from generating future conflict to disease transmission.

To sort it all out, and understand what raccoons are up to this time of year – as well as address a few issues that have come up in the news, like rabies – I connected with Cara Contardi of Urban Wildlife Care in Grimsby, Ontario.

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Mar 01, 2018
NEWS BRIEF: 516 - The Time Of The Raccoons, featuring Cara Contardi of Urban Wildlife Care
05:49

This is the first Defender Radio News Brief, a more traditional radio interview, edited down to its core points, and kept within 5 to 7 minutes, for quick and easy listening. Regular, full-length episodes will still be published, but now on Wednesdays!

Raccoons are on the move. Whether you’re in an urban centre like Hamilton or Vancouver, or have forests or farmlands as your backyard, the masked critters are likely making more appearances – as well as interesting sounds – in your community. I connected with Cara Contardi of Urban Wildlife Care, a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Grimsby, Ontario, to talk raccoons. Full interview releases on Wednesday, February 28.

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Feb 26, 2018
Adam Winston’s Podcast Explores Dogs In Our World (515)
01:10:23

In our world, there are many types of dogs, each unique and wonderful. And in a 12-episode podcast series, Adam Winston has explored makes our relationships with them so incredible. Adam has combined his passions for learning, his love of dogs, and his experience as an Air Force Radio and Television Producer to create this journey of discovery called Dogs In Our World. Each episode features a produced interview with an expert, including a philosopher, a historian, multiple trainers and behaviourists, and even Dr. Temple Grandin. These experts all discuss with Adam the dogs with whom we share our lives, history, and homes, revealing incredible insights. The thought provoking episodes are a wonderful chance for life long dog lovers and trainers to those who know little about our domestic canines to learn alongside Adam.

Having recently wrapped his first season, Adam joined Defender Radio for an exclusive, in-depth interview exploring his journey to becoming a dog person and ultimately developing Dogs In Our World, the excitement of nabbing conversations with high-profile experts, highlights from the season, and what he’s learned about himself and the world around him through a love of dogs.

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Feb 19, 2018
Cautiously Optimistic: Alberta Ready To Allow Rehab For Bears (514)
19:29

The story of Russell, the orphaned and injured bear cub outside of Calgary, broke hearts around the world. Wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians were ready, willing, and able to assist by examining his injured leg, and providing a safe environment for his rehabilitation over winter, but Alberta Environment and Parks refused. While the story of Russell is sad, and his fate following hibernation remains unknown, it highlighted a greater problem: several indigenous species that the government has decided cannot or should not be rehabilitated from injury or illness, or cared for as orphans.

The story of Russell also accomplished something remarkable: the government has stated they are now reviewing and implementing protocols for black bear rehabilitation in the province. Due to an overwhelming response by all of you, and the hard work of a core of advocates in Alberta, the media did not relent, and the science, ethics and logic of rehabilitation, forced a change.

To discuss the cautious optimism of this important victory, the combination of ethics and science behind rehabilitation, and why the advocacy can’t end now, Defender Radio was joined by biologist and former rehabilitator Lisa Dahlseide.

Take Action: Send a Letter to Alberta's Government

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Feb 12, 2018
This Common Sense Policy Update Can Help Keep Dogs Safe From Traps (513)
06:26

Host Michael Howie discusses The Fur-Bearers' push for trap warning signs in provinces and territories across Canada, how it can help protect dogs, cats, other domestic animals, and children, and how easy it is for you to take action with our one-click advocacy letter!

Feb 05, 2018
Killing Wolves To Curb Depredation Could Create Conflict (512)
43:23

New research from Dr. Adrian Treves and his colleagues Drs. Francisco Santiago-Avila and Ari Cornman highlights that lethal management of wolves to prevent depredation of livestock on properties in Michigan may be ineffective and could create detrimental effects for neighbouring properties.

The paper, titled Killing wolves to prevent predation on livestock may protect one farm but harm neighbors, was published by Public Library of Science, or PLOS One earlier this month. The researchers were given access to 16 years of data on wolf depredation and control in Upper Michigan and used multiple methods to analyze it. What they found was, in their words, that “given the evidence available, we cannot conclude that lethal management had the desired effect of preventing future livestock losses.

There is also evidence of a spill-over effect to other properties in the region.

The questions raised by this study play into a paper published by Dr. Treves with several colleagues in Nature Ecology and Evolution, titled Intergenerational equity can help to prevent climate change and extinction. This is an important subject that combines ethics, environmental sciences, and how we as a society, and as a species, must look at what we’re doing today and how it will impact tomorrow’s world.

Dr. Adrian Treves of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison joined Defender Radio to explore the implications of his latest wolf depredation study, the importance of adapting policies to match science, and how we can all play a role in safeguarding wildlife and the environment for future generations.

Support the Defender Radio Patreon with as little as $1/month at Patreon.com/DefenderRadio!

Jan 29, 2018
Cat Declawing is Amputation and Dr. Margie Scherk Wants it Stopped (511)
14:43

Cat declawing sounds like a reasonable way to prevent damage to furniture and homes, and keep cats who may be given to shelters with families. But the science simply doesn’t support any of it – and declawing isn’t even what it sounds like.

In this special report, I connected with Dr. Margie Scherk, a veterinarian who specializes in feline medicine and surgery, and wants the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia to outlaw the practice. According to a CBC article, nearly 80 per cent of BC vets who responded to the survey support a ban on declawing, and 62 per cent already stopped conducting the procedure themselves.

Dr. Scherk is hoping that greater public awareness on the truth about cat declawing and support for a petition she has created will push the College into moving forward with a ban – something that happened in Nova Scotia just last December.

This special report is brought to you by our wonderful Patrons – become a supporter at Patreon.com/DefenderRadio to help the show grow and increase our audience, and gain access to exclusive content.

Sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/college-of-veterinarians-of-british-columbia-stop-declawing-cats-in-bc

Jan 25, 2018
IFAW Partners With Communities For Their Northern Dogs Project (510)
39:28

The International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, has a campaign called the Northern Dogs Project. On the face of it, the program is straightforward: assist remote First Nations communities in Quebec and Canada to live with dogs in a positive way and manage populations humanely. But it’s a lot more than that – and it has less to do with dogs than you may think.

Jan Hannah, manager of the Northern Dogs Project, joined Defender Radio to discuss the project, the history of working with Cree and Anishinaabe communities, and why it matters that as advocates we focus on listening.

Before we get to the interview, I want to acknowledge how sensitive a subject this is. Colonialism and intergenerational trauma are subjects I don’t have a firm grasp on as I have not studied or researched extensively in this area, nor had the opportunity to be immersed in this culture. I do understand that they impact the lives of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people and society significantly. The reason I wanted to do this episode is because it’s a subject that we as animal advocates and compassionate individuals must try to learn more about. I believe that IFAW’s method of working with communities through listening is a concept we can all learn from.

I believe we all can have a positive impact on the people around us, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or history, so long as we move forward with compassion and respect, and accept responsibility for the errors we have made, and those that we continue to make. And if this is a subject of interest to you, I recommend that you visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada website or visit your local library to learn more about colonialism, intergenerational trauma, and the cultures and history of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people of this land. I'll be doing that myself.

Jan 22, 2018
Joshua Katcher Is Telling The Story Of Fashion Animals (509)
29:23

Fashion Animals, set to be published by Vegan Publishers and funded through Indiegogo, takes on the fur fashion industry in a whole new way. Fashion Animals was a labour of love for Joshua Katcher, who spent five years developing it, compiling research, data and a spectacular archive of rare images. Joshua joined Defender Radio from the road to discuss the writing of Fashion Animals, what readers and Indiegogo supporters can expect, and how he believes it will change the lives of countless animals around the world. 

 

See the Indiegogo campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fashion-animals-art-vegan.

Jan 15, 2018
Introducing The New Legal Podcast From Animal Justice: Paw & Order (508)
37:27

The law exists to protect everyone, and for advocates like us, that includes non-human animals. Canadian law isn’t quite there yet, but the folks at Animal Justice are always working to change that. And pretty soon, you’ll be able to hear a little bit more about the ins and outs of the legal fight for animals.

Paw and Order, the new podcast from Animal Justice, is set to release its first episodes this month. Animal Justice Executive Director Camille Labchuk board member and law professor Peter Sankoff will talk about the organization’s cases, legal news that relates to animals, and more in the new show. It’s an exciting prospect, as the intricacies of law, especially animal law, is hard to communicate in brief media clips – this in-depth discussion format will be fascinating for animal lovers of all stripes.

Become a Patron of Defender Radio and help grow the show and support The Fur-Bearers, and also get access to exclusive bonus content at www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio.

Jan 08, 2018
The New Year's Rant: How Do You Grow Hope? (Ep. 507)
07:53

The next regular episode of Defender Radio: The Podcast for Wildlife Advocates and Animal Lovers will be available January 8, 2018, featuring Animal Justice and their new podcast Paw and Order. In this short episode, Host Michael Howie explores the question of how to grow hope in the world after a difficult year, and his promises to the animals for 2018.

Dec 30, 2017
Christmas In A Cozy Cave: The Defender Radio Family Christmas Special
17:02

This is the Defender Radio Family Christmas Special! Christmas In A Cozy Cave is a heart-warming Christmas tale of two very different animals who were the best of friends, as they try to give each other holiday gifts to show how much they appreciate each other. But in their efforts, they may jeopardize Christmas for one another!

An audio drama written by Michael Howie and Megan Howie. Adapted from O. Henry's Gift of the Magi.

Narrated by Barbara Howie

Chipmunk played by Tracy Garnett

Otter played by Kate Howie

Bear played by Michael Howie

Episode art by Shannon Darch

Full credits, thanks, and acknowledgements in bonus file "Defender Radio Family Christmas Special (Thanks and Acknowledgements)."

Dec 18, 2017
Defender Radio Family Christmas Special (Thanks and acknowledgements)
04:32

We just released the Defender Radio Family Christmas Special, and decided to do this brief episode separately to not interfere with your enjoyment of the special. I’m going to tell you a bit about why I made the special, and thank and acknowledge those who supported and helped out. If you haven’t listened to Christmas In a Cozy Cave, go do that first, and then come back to listen to this special feature.

Dec 18, 2017
John E. Marriott talks Tall Tales, Long Lenses (505)
25:53

John Marriott is a wonderful wildlife photographer. I’ve had the good fortune to chat with him in the past about his work, particularly on the subjects of ethics and advocacy. When I saw the news that he’d released a new book, I immediately tweeted him, asking for a review copy and an interview. Then I emailed him. I think I called him at 3 am once or twice, too.

Long story short, I loved the book, wrote a review of Tall Tales, Long Lenses: My Adventures in Photography, for The Fur-Bearers, and managed to tie down John for an interview between his numerous signings and speaking engagements in recent weeks. We discussed the process of developing this new book, what it was like to invite readers into his memories and life, and why one of Canada’s most popular wildlife photographers is also one of Canada’s most outspoken conservationists.

Dec 11, 2017
Advocating For Russell The Orphaned Black Bear Cub of Bragg Creek, Alberta (504)
36:18

In October I received a slew of emails about an injured bear cub in a community outside of Calgary, Alberta. Ordinarily, I’d just do a quick google search and provide the concerned animal lover with contact information for their closest wildlife rehabber. But that didn’t work in the case – because Alberta doesn’t allow for the rehabilitation of orphaned bear cubs.

Unlike neighboring British Columbia, and here in Ontario, Alberta has strict policies that will not allow several species of orphaned wildlife to be rehabbed – and they don’t really offer any studies or scientifically-based reasons as to why. As one can expect, this policy, particularly in the case of this injured bear cub, named Russell by area children, led to an outcry.

Local wildlife lovers have come together to push for change to the policy – both through a temporary permit for the local Cochrane Ecological Institute, which is set up and did rehab bears and bear cubs for decades, and for other cubs moving forward. The Fur-Bearers have proudly supported those initiatives. The informal group of advocates have also created a stir in area media on the issue, created a man-made den for Russell, and are on alert for changes in his health or behaviour. Lisa Dahlseide, a biologist and former rehabber at Cochrane Ecological Institute, connected with me to have an in-depth talk about the story of Russell, the lack of evidence behind the government’s no-rehab policy, the ins and outs of actions taken by the informal group, and what animal lovers from across Canada and around the world can do to help Russell, and other cubs in his situation.

Dec 04, 2017
Canadian Researchers Used 4 Million Animals In The Name Of Science (503)
49:09

More than four million animals were used in research in Canada in 2016, a 21% increase from the previous year. Included in this increase were the use of cats, up 68%, dogs, up 58%, nonhuman primates, up 53%, and pigs, up 70%.

It isn’t just that so many animals are used though. It’s that so many animals are used for research purposes that aren’t necessarily effective, when more effective and humane options exist. Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy, Executive Director of the Animal in Science Policy Institute, joined Defender Radio to break down the data, explain the alternatives, and share how everyone, from school kids to advocates to researchers can be a part of the necessary change.

Nov 27, 2017
Inside The Absurdly Intellectual, Accurately Anthropomorphised World of Joshua Barkman's False Knees (502)
32:11

Joshua Barkman, creator of the False Knees web comic, takes every day circumstances for the animals we see around us in urban areas, like raccoons, rabbits, and various species of birds, and applies absurdly humourous conversations or thoughts.  

Joshua gives great detail to his drawings, creating a wonderful juxtaposition between beautiful artwork and absurd humour. But he also gives life, emotion, character, and introspection to animals often seen, but seldom considered in our daily lives. Joshua sat down with Defender Radio at the popular Café Pyrus in Kitchener, Ontario for an interview, a locally roasted cup of coffee, and an opportunity to dive into the world of False Knees.

Nov 20, 2017
501: Communities Can Co-Exist With Coyotes
44:16

Here we are – season five! I can’t think of a better way to kick off this momentous run than with coyote expert, and my good friend, Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada. Lesley and I spent some time recording in a forest in the Niagara Falls region last week, talking about building community buy-in to co-existence programs, the ups and downs of developing a plan, and why living with coyotes isn’t just possible, but preferable.

That’s not all I have to share with you though – I have a few new features of the show I want to share with you. First is the 60-second advocacy bit – in less than one minute, I’m going to share with you what the primary focus of my guest’s advocacy is, what solutions they have, and how you can get involved. That way if you can’t stay for the whole episode, or it’s a subject you may struggle with, you’ll get the basics so you can still help the cause.

I hear from a lot of you that there’s an interest in helping the show, too, and that’s why I’ve created a new Patreon! That’s the online way of supporting creators – podcasters like myself, artists, designers, musicians, and so on. It’s simple: visit patreon.com/defenderradio, choose a tier of giving, and click! Each tier – starting at $1 per month and going up to $150 per month – has rewards. For only $1 per month you’ll get access to exclusive behind the scenes videos, blogs, outtakes and more. Bump up to $5 and you’ll also get an additional stream of content from each interview that can’t be heard anywhere else. As the tiers go up, so do the rewards – a Defender Radio t-shirt, advocacy gear from The Fur-Bearers, and even an executive producer title are available! Check out www.patreon.com/DefenderRadio to learn more and help the show, And The Fur-Bearers grow.

Of course I can’t start a new season without a contest, so here we go: register to receive Defender Radio updates and The Fur-Bearers’ eNews at thefurbearers.com/updates and you’ll be entered in a chance to win a shirt and advocacy pack from The Fur-Bearers. If you’re already signed up, you’re already in the draw! If not, just visit thefurbearers.com/updates and make sure you opt-in to receive both email types and you’ll be entered. Winner will be announced on next week’s episode!

Nov 14, 2017
452: Elizabeth May Says We Have The Power To Go Green
23:36

Going green is a good idea.There aren't many people who don't want to see a more sustainable world that lessens our impact on the planet, habitats, ecosystems, and individual animals, regardless of political affiliations. But how to get there – and what will or won’t work – remains controversial.

Curbing greenhouse gas emissions elicits a highly politicized conversation, with sides across the political spectrum using misinformation and disinformation to push for their own plans – and undermine those of their opponents.

The questions must become what actions are available and are practical for all political parties, how industries can transform without costing working families their livelihoods, and what we can do as individuals on a day to day basis. To help talk about these important questions, Defender Radio was joined by an authority on the politics of going green: Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Oct 30, 2017
451: Getting Warm With Wully
22:35

This story started with necessity too – Canadian Football player James Yurichuk was moving his family from tepid Vancouver to brisk Toronto, and wanted to buy his wife a nice winter coat to help with the transition. But there was a problem: they were all filled with goose down and lined with coyote fur.

From that simple necessity grew conversations with childhood friend Anthony DeBartolo, ideas and sketches, and a vision for an ethical, compassionate company. Fast forward a few years, and Wully Outerwear is creating high-performance, animal-free jackets that are competing in the marketplace – and growing in popularity every day.

The story of Wully Outerwear started in a small Ontario town hockey rink, and today is saving the lives of thousands of animals. To share their journey and explore their motivations, hopes, and what’s next for the made-in-Canada company, Defender Radio was joined by co-founders James Yurichuk and Anthony DeBartolo.

Oct 24, 2017
450: Stop Poisoning The Wolves
47:40

Poisons that cause extreme suffering and death are being used to cruelly kill wolves. But there’s an opportunity to get at least one of them out of our country. Strychnine, Compound 1080, and M-44 cyanide devices are all used in Alberta to kill wolves – and anything else that comes into contact with them. Some of these poisons are also used in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Several permits that allow the use of Strychnine in Alberta are set to expire in December 2017, creating a unique opportunity to outlaw these disturbing agents of death, and raise awareness of the plight facing not only wolves, but all manner of carnivores targeted with these poisons through baiting.

To understand why these poisons are being used, what other solutions exist for managing livestock conflict and protecting at-risk species, and how we can be part of the change, Defender Radio was joined by Sadie Parr, Executive Director of Wolf Awareness Inc.

Oct 17, 2017
449: Inside The Grizzly Poll
41:22

. It was a day of mixed emotions when we heard that the new NDP-led government in British Columbia would ban trophy hunting of grizzly bears – but still allow them to be killed for the quote meat.

This pack out provision led to a big debate in the media, in comments, and on chatrooms across the province and country. It stood to reason that a good way to find out what people really thought about the hunting of grizzly bears was to ask them. Enter Insights West.

Funded by LUSH Cosmetics and the Commercial Bear Viewing Association, Insights polled a sample of BC residents to get their opinions on grizzly bear hunting. Seventy-four per cent of residents support a ban on all hunting of grizzlies, which is a positive stat, though not surprising. What left me slack jawed was that 58% of self-identified hunters also support a ban on the hunting of all grizzlies.

Immediately, this survey made headlines across the province and spurred even more debate. Throw in a mixture of all the fake news/inaccurate polling/lack of trust in media that has underscored the last 12 months, and the scientifically-valid survey got called into question. That’s why Defender Radio connected with Mario Canseco, the VP of Insights West. Mario discusses what the grizzly bear poll shows, why professional surveys are a valuable tool, and why advocates should be looking to the numbers.

Oct 11, 2017
448: Beating Back Burnout
29:15

Between our battles to protect animals, and the seemingly endless stream of terror attacks, natural disasters, and headlines involving Donald Trump, feeling tired isn’t surprising. But it’s important to understand the difference between being a bit tired, and burning out.

With all that’s going on in the world, we thought it was time to talk about mental health with someone who has knowledge of the world of advocacy, as well as the training and expertise to talk about burnout. That’s why we brought Defender Radio host Michael Howie’s wife, Kate Howie, onto the show.

Kate is a concurrent disorders outreach specialist for a health network in Southern Ontario, has an extensive background in counselling on issues like addiction, and an education in sociology and social work. She sat down with Defender Radio to talk about recognizing burnout in ourselves and others, learning the first steps we can take to prevent burnout, and how we can ask for help.

Oct 03, 2017
447: IFAW to the Rescue
51:28

Extreme weather events have wreaked havoc across the southern United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, hurricanes have torn apart communities, destroyed infrastructure, and created crises of significant scope for people who call the islands home.

But it isn’t only the people who are suffering. Community animals like cats, dogs, domestic livestock, and working animals who depend on humans can suffer greatly through these incidents, despite the best efforts of their owners or families. Even wildlife, who often are adept at managing through such scenarios, need a helping hand with injury, or accessing resources and shelter. But they have hope in the form of emergency response teams from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW. According to their website, IFAW leads, funds and provides assistance to animal rescue groups to assess disaster situations, formulate plans, and take action. They also provide food, equipment, medical supplies, and emergency expertise to help rescue, provide care, and when safe to do so, reunify pets with their families and/or return wildlife to the wild.

Defender Radio was fortunate to be joined by Res Krebs, a communications expert for IFAW who deployed with emergency response teams to the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this month. In an interview with Defender Radio between planning sessions and his next deployment, Res talked about the emergency response program, what it was like seeing the devastation to the islands and the communities, and how we can all help in recovery efforts and preparedness for the people, and the animals.

Sep 26, 2017
446: A Legal Fight For Freedom
33:10

A visit to the aquarium or zoo could be magical as a child. Heck, for a lot of adults, it can still be magical. Seeing species from all over the world up close is remarkable. Of course, once we realize that they’re confined in unnatural circumstances, displaying neurotic and self-damaging behaviours, and that their incarceration rarely, if ever, plays a role in true conservation of their species in the wild, the magic fades.

Though many documentaries, non-profits, and passionate advocates are showing that zoos and aquariums are not what we once believed them to be, they still exist – and are sometimes quite popular. But from a total lack of regulation and laws in Ontario leading to alleged acts of cruelty, to the politics and ethics of keeping cetaceans in captivity in British Columbia, the fight for the freedom and even the basic welfare of these animals rages on. Animal Justice, a charity that focuses on using legal resources to pass animal legislation, push for the prosecution of animal abusers, and fight for animals in court, is facing two issues currently. In Ontario, allegations of mistreatment at a roadside zoo, and in British Columbia, advocating on behalf of the animals in a court hearing about the Vancouver Aquarium’s right to keep captive cetaceans.

Camille Labchuk, Executive Director of Animal Justice, joined Defender Radio to talk about both of these cases, the need to create precedent, and how whether we’re in the court room or on our mobile devices, we can all play a role in the legal fight for the animals’ freedom.

Sep 19, 2017
Turtle Power
39:35

Defender Radio visited the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, we learned that there are eight native species of turtle in Ontario – and several of them are at-risk. We also learned that there’s a whole lot of dedicated people working exceptionally hard to help turtles. Dr. Sue Carstairs, Executive and Medical Director at the Centre and the Kwartha Turtle Trauma Centre shared her vast knowledge, experience and a tour with the show.

Turtle rehabilitation, surgery, their importance to our ecosystem, why some species are pretty much living dinosaurs, and what 3,000 turtle eggs are doing in plastic kitchen containers in Peterborough were discussed in this recorded Facebook live interview, with an additional 25 minutes not previously heard.

Sep 13, 2017
444: Bark To School
53:16

Kids are groaning, parents are cheering, and teachers are refilling hip flasks and chocolate drawers: it’s back to school week. While many families will be getting up earlier, shovelling breakfasts down, making lunches, and filling up dry erase boards with extracurriculars, appointments, and school events, there’s one member of our families who may be having a hard time – and they’re on four legs.

Family companions, especially dogs, can struggle with sudden changes to routine or schedules. These changes, from simply leaving the house a bit earlier, to members of the family not being around during the day, to getting walked or fed at a different time, can create stress and anxiety – and those can lead to behavioural problems.

Knowing how to recognize those symptoms and what’s causing them is difficult, but knowing to whom to turn for help, what questions to ask, and what kind of training will be most effective can be just as hard. That’s why Defender Radio reached out to friend, dog behaviour consultant through Fangs But No Fangs, and animal behaviour professor at Durham College, Joan Weston to help all of us get ready to go bark to school.

Sep 05, 2017
443: Good Coyote, Bad Rap
52:04

Bad Coyote, the 2013 documentary that purports to explore the state of Atlantic Canadians during a cull of coyotes after the tragic death of folksinger Taylor Mitchell in October 2009, is available to view online.  The documentary was released online as part of the National Film Board’s National Canadian Film Day this year. In the last week, several listeners, supporters of The Fur-Bearers, and friends, contacted the show and The Fur-Bearers to let us know that it was available for online viewing, and that the link was being passed around.

The write-up for Bad Coyote states that it asks if residents’ fears of a new “super species” are justified, or if they’re responding to fear mongering. While many filmmakers would have gone to great lengths to sensationalize beyond the title, writer and director Jason Andrew Young made clear efforts to provide some balance. This was accomplished namely through interviews with Taylor Mitchell’s mother, Emily Mitchell, who advocated for compassion to wildlife and an end to the cull, and Dr. Simon Gadbois, a canid researcher at Dalhousie University.

Though time is given to Dr. Gadbois, frequently his scientific-based statements are cut down to simple soundbites, and, ultimately rejected by the so-called folk logic of those who profit from the exploitation of coyotes, without an opportunity for rebuttal. Even the very question of what exactly happened on October 27, 2009, which led to the death of Ms. Mitchell in hospital the following day, isn’t fully explored – and that’s where our interview with Dr. Simon Gadbois, an opportunity for discussion and in-depth rebuttals, begins on this week’s episode.

Aug 29, 2017
Ep. 442: Shoot To Thrill
47:26

Shooting a bear is remarkably easy. You need someone to help you find them, the equipment and knowledge of that equipment to be able to line up the shot, a bit of patience, and then you either push a button – or pull a trigger.

Trish Boyum and her husband Eric own Ocean Adventures, a successful ecotourism business on the coast, and are also advocates for the protection of grizzlies and other wildlife. Trish joined Defender Radio to share her reaction to the announcement on trophy hunting, how her husband confronted armed hunters trying to poach a grizzly bear in a provincial park, and why only one type of shooting has a future for grizzlies in British Columbia.

Aug 22, 2017
441: Leaving History In The Past
29:56

In my experience, when this hunt is discussed, us urban folk from away are dismissed for not understanding what it means to be a Newfoundlander. That’s fair – I don’t know what it’s like to be a part of that culture, which is very rich and distinct. But it’s not just me in Hamilton, or my colleagues in Vancouver, or even a sizable amount of the general population around the world who think the seal hunt is cruel and economically unviable – it’s the very people who call the Rock home that are questioning the industry.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, conducted a survey of Newfoundlanders earlier this summer, and found that the residents of the Atlantic province have changing views on the economic future of the commercial hunt, as well as their personal connection to it, and own use of seal products.

Sheryl Fink, Director of Wildlife Campaigns for Canada, joined Defender Radio to discuss this survey, the ramifications of what was learned, and what else the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer its people and visitors.

Aug 16, 2017
440: The Last Stand of the Acadian Forest
37:16

The scene looks like one painted with the words of Tolkien: moss covered rocks, a babbling brook, various low shrubs, and monstrous trees fill the landscape. The photo I’m describing is this week’s episode art, and was taken by the guest you’ll hear from today. It’s truly beautiful, and exactly what I imagined when we started talking about the Acadian forests of Nova Scotia.

It’s also gone.

Full of biodiversity, hundreds of years old, and filling an ecological role that’s difficult to fully comprehend, the Acadian forests of Atlantic Canada are under attack. Clearcutting, ineffective replanting, backroom politics, and disinformation are creating a hazardous situation that, according to our guest Cliff Seruntine, is hitting the crisis point.

A member of Stop Spraying and Clearcutting Nova Scotia, Cliff says there is less than 1% of the original Acadian Forest left – and it is being cut 20 times faster than it can rejuvenate itself. Cliff joined Defender Radio to discuss the unique ecosystems found in the Acadian Forests, what’s driving the clear cutting, and what ecological and economic solutions exist to replace this dangerous industry.

Aug 08, 2017
439: Selfies, Safety, and Search & Rescue
50:19

Sandra Riches, the BC Coordinator for AdventureSmart, joined Defender Radio to talk selfie safety, the basics of being prepared, and what has led to nearly 1,600 search and rescue operations taking place per year in British Columbia alone.

Aug 01, 2017
438: Fish, Bears, and Conservation
33:43

West coast bears like their fish. I don’t think we really need science to tell us that. But which bears eat what, how much salmon they’re eating, where they’re getting it from, what influence that has on the ecosystems around them, even at great distances from the coast, and how that could all impact management across geopolitical lines - now that’s what science is good at.

Megan Adams, PhD candidate at the University of Victoria, research scholar with the Hakai Institute, and biologist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, recently published a study examining the data associated with some of these questions. That study included samples from over 1,400 grizzly and black bears across 690,000 km2 of BC, from 1995 to 2014.  Adams worked with the Wuikinuxv Nation, as well, adding the importance of traditional knowledge to her research and conclusions.

Megan joined Defender Radio to discuss her recently published paper, why salmon and bear populations should be managed together, the influence her time with the Wuikinuxv Nation has imparted on her work, and what animal lovers and environmentalists need to know to protect the salmon-bear relationship and all that it represents in BC.

Jul 18, 2017
437: 500 Marmots Later...
38:04

At one time, the Vancouver Island Marmot held a comfortable position as a unique rodent in high-altitude meadows on their namesake territory. And then humans came a long, and we all know how that goes. Vast changes to the ecosystems surrounding marmot’s home ranges resulted in a disastrous drop in their populations – down to below 30 marmots at one time.

Thankfully, the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation was formed, and just last week, released their 500th captive bred marmot into the ecosystem. Today there is a more stable population of around 200 marmots living on Vancouver Island, and while there is much work left to be done, things are looking better than ever.

Adam Taylor of the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation joined Defender Radio to celebrate their 500th release, discuss the hard lessons learned about reintroducing these unique rodents in a difficult habitat, and why keeping this small, but genetically separate population of marmots healthy matters.

Jul 11, 2017
436: The Fight for BC's Wildlife
37:01

A quiet announcement made in March stirred the pot – and now it’s brewing up to a storm. In the last week, dozens of wildlife protection non-profits, research groups, and nature-related businesses have clamored for the province to respond to calls for changes to a plan to put the fate of British Columbia’s wildlife in the hands of a hunter-and trapper-funded agency.

Despite pre-election pledges of millions annually to top-up the separate agency, and a now-former MLA’s claims that the government was quote afraid to manage wolves or grizzly bears because of the associated politics, few details have been released to any of the non-consumptive groups. With the hunters and trappers making up only 2% of BC’s population, and non-consumptive activities such as wildlife viewing, and photography generating significant economic stimulus to the province, it is reasonable that nature lovers of all stripes be concerned about what this agency will be – and what it will cost taxpayers, and the animals.

To discuss what this hunter-funded agency could look like, the misconceptions about wildlife science and consumptive users, and what animal lovers in British Columbia and around the world can do, Defender Radio was joined by BC Nature president Dr. Alan Burger.

Jul 04, 2017
435: The WOLF Sanctuary
42:08

Wolves are one of the most majestic creatures on the planet. They’re intelligent, social, and thrilling to watch whether roaming their territory, hunting as a pack, or teaching pups the ins and outs of play. Some people love these animals so much that they want one in their home, and buy wolves bred in captivity, or wolf-dog hybrids. And according to the WOLF Sanctuary in Colorado, that’s when things can go wrong.

More than 100 wolves or wolf-dog hybrids have found a home at the Sanctuary since it opened, and the dedicated staff and volunteers have helped find a safe place for thousands of others. Many of these individuals were born in profit-driven breeding operations, sold to well-meaning and loving families, and ultimately surrendered to the WOLF Sanctuary by owners who were unable to care for an animal that isn’t entirely domestic, and isn’t entirely wild.

Dr. Shelley Coldiron, Executive Director of the WOLF Sanctuary, joined Defender Radio to discuss the difficulties people find in raising wolf-dog hybrids, what special needs they have, the daily operations of running the sanctuary, and the individual personalities, quirks, and lives of the animals in their care.

Jun 28, 2017
Episode 434: Parks Canada's Wildlife Crossings Pt. 2
45:45

Wildlife corridors are becoming beautiful and iconic scientific feats that show our ability to co-exist with animals, when we put our minds to it. And the TransCanada Highway through Banff National Park is perhaps the best example of that.

Twinning of the highway – or doubling its width – began in 1981, and with it, a bold plan to make it safer for animals to get across the busy highway. Currently more than 40 corridors of multiple design serve the animals, and the latest research is highlighting the incredible success of the program managed by Parks Canada. Wildlife collisions have reduced by more than 80%, and almost 90% for various ungulates such as deer, moose, and bighorn sheep.

The development of the structures, which have become postcard-esque examples of scientific co-existence, the engineering tasks associated with choosing locations, plant life, and style of crossing, and what it’s like to look back at nearly 30 years of success were discussed with Terry McGuire, Parks Canada veteran, and project coordinator for the new TransCanada Highway Twinning in Yoho National Park.

Jun 20, 2017
Episode 433: Parks Canada's Wildlife Crossings Pt. 1
33:27

Wildlife corridors are becoming beautiful and iconic scientific feats that show our ability to co-exist with animals, when we put our minds to it. And the TransCanada Highway through Banff National Park is perhaps the best example of that.

Twinning of the highway – or doubling its width – began in 1981, and with it, a bold plan to make it safer for animals to get across the busy highway. Currently more than 40 corridors of multiple design serve the animals, and the latest research is highlighting the incredible success of the program managed by Parks Canada. Wildlife collisions have reduced by more than 80%, and almost 90% for various ungulates such as deer, moose, and bighorn sheep.

In 1996, scientists began monitoring the crossings, and that voluminous data set, in addition to other research, shows successful behavioural adaptations, improved or maintained genetic diversity, and a halting to ecological fragmentation. To discuss the monitoring, what scientists are learning, and why the results matter, Defender Radio was joined by Ecological Integrity Monitoring Coordinator for Parks Canada, Derek Petersen.

Jun 13, 2017
Episode 432: Questioning Coyote Conversations
50:01

Conversations about coyotes can quickly get controversial, particularly in the media. Are they simply another creature trying to care for their families and live life peacefully, or are they menacing charlatans waiting to pluck away what we love most? If you’re listening to this show, chances are you agree with the former, which also happens to be based in fact. But if you read or watch news, or, worse, read social media comments, you’ll know that there’s an awful lot of people who believe the latter is true.

That’s one of the reasons why we need to question the language we use, the way we have conversations, and how we perceive our own and others’ experiences. At the forefront of these difficult questions is Dr. Shelley Alexander of the University of Calgary.

Dr. Alexander has authored, co-authored, and supervised significant studies, including a media content analysis that highlighted the veracity of media bias in reporting on coyote conflict. In a conversation with Defender Radio, Dr. Alexander explores the results of her past studies, discusses the misinterpretation of coyote behaviour, and helps us find the questions we must ask to change the conversations we have about coyotes.

Jun 06, 2017
Episode 431: Bear Basics of Emergency Response
45:17

Let’s start with the obvious: stopping conflict with wildlife before it begins is always our preference. And there’s a lot of ways we can do that, as most conflict occurs when we’ve created a situation that allows for it, often through manipulation of resources. That is, we give food to animals and they say, hey, thanks, can I have some more? Or we knock down their houses and they show up, and say, hey, thanks for inviting us to stay over.

The point is, not giving food to animals, not knocking down their houses, and finding other ways to create coexistence are possible and, as science and history have shown us, work best at stopping conflict. But sometimes it goes a bit further, requiring immediate intervention. And, when the animal in question weighs a few hundred pounds, that intervention can get a little more complicated.

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to. In many cases when police or other first responders are faced with managing wildlife like bears, there is a lack of training and tools, which can lead to drastic lethal measures being taken. Sylvia Dolson and the Get Bear Smart Society in Whistler, however, can help these first responders manage bear conflict while keeping themselves – and the bears - safe.

To discuss how she and her colleagues train police, what kind of methods are employed, why tranquilizing isn’t always ideal, and how we can all learn to get a bit smarter about bears, Sylvia joined Defender Radio.

May 30, 2017
Episode 430: The Long Weekend Rant Episode
16:55

Given that it’s a three-day weekend here in Canada, and people away, outdoors, and generally not in their offices. Next weekend it’s Memorial Day for our friends south of the 49th, which means they’ll be away, outdoors, and generally not in their offices. Rather than try to force an interview, or rush one that isn’t quite ready, we thought this would be a good time for host Michael Howie to sit, think, and record something more of a rant, and a little glibber, then you’re probably used to with this show.

Michael’s background is journalism, and his journey into learning about wildlife started when a lot of other reporters stopped asking questions – finding sources to speak on behalf of the animals in stories, pursuing the facts behind witness accounts of conflict, and avoiding sensationalism became vital in his work.

But all of those negative things seen in wildlife reporting, including sensationalism, fast but inaccurate or incomplete reporting, and a lot of assumptions, can put the animals, and readers, at risk. Join Defender Radio for a special long weekend episode on media, sensationalism, and how it’s all of our responsibility to get it right.

May 22, 2017
Episode 429: Dr. Marc Bekoff and the Rise of the Compassionocene
01:04:35

When we hear the word “compassionate” paired with non-human animals, our first thoughts often go to Dr. Marc Bekoff. A highly-esteemed field biologist, animal behaviour researcher, author, and speaker, Marc has penned multiple books, essays, and papers on concepts of compassionate conservation, compassion choices, and the sentience of animals with whom we share the world. Marc, along with bio-ethicist and past collaborator Jessica Pierce, have released a new book, The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age.

This book, which is reviewed at TheFurBearers.com, takes readers on a journey of knowledge showing why, to truly provide freedom for non-human animals, we must ask ourselves hard questions around topics involving food, medical research, entertainment, and, of course, wildlife and the environment. Marc and Jessica set out a clear path away from what they hypothesize is the failure of animal welfare and toward animal well-being, as well as why science, which has illustrated the sentience, and deep emotional lives of many animals, has not produced more obvious changes in our society.

To discuss this recent book, and walk through some of the amusing anecdotes, at times uncomfortable questions, and possible solutions to moving toward an age of compassion for all living beings that they labelled as the Compassionocene, Marc joined Defender Radio.

May 15, 2017
Episode 428: Bif Naked, Wild and Free
01:01:09

Bif Naked is a Canadian rock star, author, cancer survivor, and social and animal advocate. Her music career, which spans more than 20 years and includes multiple hit singles and extensive tours, made her a household name – but her advocacy has made her an icon.

From speaking out for fair treatment in the welfare system for British Columbians to advocating for a fur-free Canada filled with co-existence, Bif is always ready to stand for what’s right. Our interview was scheduled to talk about the launch of the paperback edition of her popular book, I Bificus, and update us on her busy life of advocacy and music.

But her one-on-one, candid interview with Defender Radio wound its way through finding hope while recovering from cancer, understanding how she looks at a world that sometimes is filled with darkness, how she looks at making compassionate choices, and answering a slew of questions from the Defender Radio audience.

May 08, 2017
Episode 427: Advocacy in the Age of Trump
57:44

On January 10, 2017, Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. While I do have my personal feelings about the man that I cannot in good conscience share on this family-friendly podcast, it cannot be said that he is a friend of the animals. Immediately upon his winning of the 2016 election, animal advocates began scrambling – and within the first weeks of his presidency, their nightmares started coming true. Massive cuts to environmental and animal-related federal budgets, the reversal of protection laws, and censoring of both science and advocacy within federal agencies.

In this Age of Trump, animal advocacy in the United States has taken on a new urgency, and how that will eventually impact wildlife and our environment is yet to be seen. But that will not halt the work of groups like the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The ALDF’s campaigns focus on a variety of animal-related issues, including the worrisome case of Tony the Tiger, who lives in a roadside cage, fighting against cruel puppy mills, and the onslaught of so-called ag-gag laws. To discuss these campaigns, and how this new, unpredictable age of Presidential politics will impact them, Defender Radio was joined by ALDF senior attorney Anthony Eliseuson.

May 01, 2017
Episode 426: Science for the Win (Defeating Depredation)
01:00:43

Thousands of protestors in cities across North America marched on the weekend, calling attention to the need for science in society and government. I absolutely loved seeing some of the signs that scientists, educators, and science enthusiasts came up with for their local marches. My personal favourite read: “First they came for the scientists, and the National Park Service said, 'LOL, no' and went rogue and we were all like 'I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance. None of the dystopian novels I’ve read prepared me for this.'”

You can see some of the other ones from protests across the continent in various news reports that I’ve shared on my social media streams: Facebook.com/DefenderRadio, and Twitter @DefenderRadio.

It feels fitting, too, that this week we’re looking at a solution to a long-standing ethical, environmental, and economic problem that could be solved with science.

A paper titled

Thousands of protestors in cities across North America marched on the weekend, calling attention to the need for science in society and government. I absolutely loved seeing some of the signs that scientists, educators, and science enthusiasts came up with for their local marches, with my personal favourite reading, “First they came for the scientists, and the National Park Service said, “LOL, no” and went rogue and we were all like “I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance. None of the dystopian novels I’ve read prepared me for this.”

You can see some of the other ones from protests across the continent in various news reports that I’ve shared on my social media streams: Facebook.com/DefenderRadio, and Twitter @DefenderRadio.

It feels fitting, too, that this week we’re looking at a solution to a long-standing ethical, environmental, and economic problem that could be solved with science.

A paper titled “Adaptive use of non-lethal strategies for minimizing wolf-sheep conflict in Idaho” was published in the February edition of the Journal of Mammalogy. It isn’t the first paper or study that’s looked at solutions to ending conflict on livestock grazing lands, but it certainly is expansive and exciting.

Along with biologists, local ranchers, and a United States Department of Agriculture researcher, Suzanne Stone of Defenders of Wildlife collected data of depredation and management practices from two similar, yet separate areas of land in the Gem state. What they found confirms, scientifically, what many have said for some time: non-lethal deterrents work better than lethal control, cost less, and save thousands of lives.

To talk more about this incredible study, the findings, the questions that still need to be asked, and what all of this means for a potential end to the war on wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife’s Suzanne Stone joined Defender Radio.

was published in the February edition of the Journal of Mammalogy. It isn’t the first paper or study that’s looked at solutions to ending conflict on livestock grazing lands, but it certainly is expansive and exciting.

Along with biologists, local ranchers, and a United States Department of Agriculture researcher, Suzanne Stone of Defenders of Wildlife collected data of depredation and management practices from two similar, yet separate areas of land in the Gem state. What they found confirms, scientifically, what many have said for some time: non-lethal deterrents work better than lethal control, cost less, and save thousands of lives.

To talk more about this incredible study, the findings, the questions that still need to be asked, and what all of this means for a potential end to the war on wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife’s Suzanne Stone joined Defender Radio.

Apr 24, 2017
Episode 425: John E. Marriott and the Ice Grizzlies
59:51

Witnessing the northern lights dance across an open arctic sky, watching a grizzly mother teach her cubs to fish for the first time, and feeling the solitude of a cold morning in the far north may be something few of us will ever experience. But thanks to John Marriott, we’ll get closer than we ever have.

John is an accomplished wildlife photographer, who also leads photography tours across Canada’s wilderness. But in recent years, he’s taken his growing popularity and success and become an advocate for the animals. Most notably, John has started a video web series titled Exposed with John E. Marriott. The combination of incredible videography and photography, along with insightful commentary on the issues related to his subjects (often wolves and bears), creates an experience for viewers that is difficult to describe. His most recent adventure, and the launch of the second season of Exposed, focuses on what he calls Ice Grizzlies – bears who visit a perpetually running stream in the far northern reaches of the Yukon.

John joined Defender Radio to discuss the Exposed series, his latest trip to the Yukon, ethical photography, why advocacy has become an important and rewarding part of his career, and answer questions from the Defender Radio audience.

Apr 17, 2017
Episode 424: The Easter Bunny Blues
48:46

Easter is around the corner, and for some reason, that means we’ll soon be surrounded by rabbits. Sadly, it isn’t just the stuffed toys or chocolate egg variety, but real, live, fluffy bunnies who are given as pets by well-meaning parents or loved ones.

While bunnies can make wonderful pets, there’s a lot more to raising and giving them a home to them then you might think. The combination of impulse buying from pet shops and the amount of work necessary to keeping a rabbit healthy and happy means many – far too many – end up being sent to live outdoors, where they can wreak havoc on ecosystems, or given up to shelters.

Fortunately, rescues like Ladybird Animal Sanctuary are ready to help bunnies get a second chance. Lisa Winn, co-founder and animal manager for Ladybird Animal Sanctuary, joined Defender Radio to talk about why giving bunnies as gifts can be a bad decision, what goes into giving a rabbit a good, happy home, and why rabbits are one of the most popular pets in the world.

You’ll also hear from my special co-host on this week’s episode, Pigeon! My youngest dog had double knee surgery recently, and while he’s recovering well and feeling good, his displeasure with not being allowed to run around like normal becomes vocal. As a result, he ended up sitting behind the mic as a special co-host of Defender Radio.

Apr 10, 2017
Episode 423: What to Expect When You're Expecting
45:22

It is remarkable how significant an impact people have on the wildlife around them, even if it isn’t always seen. Understanding our role, and what we should do to help animals we see, is also something we’re not too clear on. Fortunately, we do have some wonderful people in our communities who can help.

Wildlife rehabilitators are ready for the influx of injured, orphaned or ill babies they’ll be seeing in the coming weeks – but a growing part of their work is to make sure their community is ready, too. In southern Ontario, registered rehabilitators are also facing the ongoing spread of rabies as distemper, deadly diseases that can ravage the animals. And in regions like Grimsby, the home of Urban Wildlife Care, rapid development is creating problems in areas where animals once lived without ever being seen. These subjects, along with a few interesting anecdotes about a Headstones concert, squirrels that like to mock dogs, and the need to support local rehabbers, were discussed when Defender Radio was joined by Urban Wildlife Care’s Cara Contardi.

Apr 03, 2017
Episode 422: Spring Training
42:24

The sun is shining, the rain is washing away the last of the snow, and families are hitting the trails and sidewalks with their four-legged companions and that means it’s time for some spring training. Whether you share your home with a young puppy or a senior dog, getting out and reviewing the basics like sit, down, stay, and a good recall (coming when called) is a great idea, both for the safety of your pet, and for building your relationship. Of course, turning these exercises into fun games makes it even more enjoyable.

From lazy hounds to neurotic herders and every type in between, getting to know your furry family member through play and training, and finding ways for them to interact socially in appropriate ways with other dogs and people will make your home a little bit happier. To help us with our spring training, and answer questions from our social media audience, we were joined by dog trainer, and a good friend to both The Fur-Bearers and my own family, Kyla Boyer.

Mar 27, 2017
Episode 421: The Non-human Rights Project
34:38

Steven Wise stood up in a New York court room to make his case last week. It’s something he’s worked toward for years, and so far, the courts haven’t supported his efforts. But Steven knows that his clients need him – because they simply can’t speak for themselves.

Steven is the founder and president of the Non-human Rights Project, and his clients are chimpanzees being kept in confinement. The goal is to get these chimps, individuals of a species that experts have long identified as sentient, emotional, and social, out of cages and into sanctuaries. The case is to appeal the failure of the New York County Supreme Court to issue writs of habeas corpus on behalf of two captive chimpanzees, Tommy and Kiko, who were recently featured in the HBO documentary Unlocking the Cage.

Steven took a break from preparing his arguments last week to join Defender Radio and explain the background of the cases of Tommy, Kiko, and other non-human animals for whom the Non-human Rights Project is speaking, why the law should grant them freedom, and how animal lovers around the world can help.

Mar 20, 2017
Episode 420: #TeamRaccoon / Problem-solving the problem solvers
36:32

Raccoons are the enemy, and green bins are the battlefield. At least, that’s how some Torontonians view an ongoing saga between themselves and the furry neighbours that so successfully live in Canada’s largest city.

Attitudes on raccoons in the Greater Toronto Area are split surprisingly evenly, but due to their problem-solving skills the sneaky fur-bearers do make it into the news and even political discussions regularly. And that’s where Dr. Suzanne MacDonald got involved.

Dr. MacDonald, a professor of psychology and biology at York University, helped the city test which new green bin designs would best prevent raccoons from enjoying a feast; and now, she’s trying to determine if the new bins will help the city’s raccoons shed a few pounds, and potentially have smaller litters.

On this week’s episode of Defender Radio, Dr. MacDonald joined us to discuss her fascinating hypotheses on raccoon learning and their potential evolution, as well as how she tests their problem-solving skills, and some practical advice on preventing conflict.

Mar 13, 2017
Episode 419: A Season of Change
28:12

Spring is in the air. Well, right now it is. Later today, it might be snow. Or hail. Or summer. It’s been a bit hard to tell exactly what to expect in regards to the weather, but one thing is certain – we’re in a season of change.

As the weather changes, we’ll also be seeing changes in the behaviours of all sorts of life – from spiders spinning new webs, to birds stretching their wings and picking up the early worms of 2017. Of course, we’ll also be seeing all kinds of local wildlife scurrying about to find leftovers from beneath the snow, a new mate, or pushing their young out to find their own homes. While it can be wonderful to watch, our influence on these animals can be significant, so understanding who’s doing what, and how we might be affecting them, is vital this time of year.

To talk about this season of change, what we can expect from our furry neighbours, and how to prevent conflict in and around our homes, Defender Radio was joined by Janelle VanderBeek of the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC.

Mar 06, 2017
Episode 418: Communicating About Coyote Conflict
42:19

Talking about conflict isn’t always easy. Emotions can be high – the sight of a large animal can be unnerving and cause instinctual fear reactions, and the loss of a family pet can be devastating for an entire community. Frequently, the emotional upheaval leads to a desire to find a problem – and a coyote can be an easy target.

Though the science showing the lack of effectiveness of lethal control to prevent conflict is growing, as is the evidence of successful non-lethal, co-existence strategies, there is still a lot of breakdown in communications about coyote conflict. From reporters who simply don’t know there’s a difference between a conflict and an attack, to residents whose heightened fear makes it difficult to see the full ecosystem in their backyard, finding ways to talk about conflict is a challenge all on its own.

Fortunately, we have advocates like Lesley Sampson, the founding executive director of Coyote Watch Canada. To discuss how to pose questions in an investigation into conflict, to considering the range of animals that could have made footprints in the snow, and why we need to see coyotes as an integral part of our communities, Lesley joined Defender Radio.

Feb 28, 2017
Episode 417: Evolving Ethics for Wildlife Control
25:50

What happens when you put 20 international scientists in a room for two days to talk about human-wildlife conflict resolution? You get the seven principles for ethical wildlife control.

The BC SPCA and UBC’s Animal Welfare program (funded by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies) hosted a two-day workshop in 2015, which brought together scientists from around the world to look at these subjects from an international perspective. Out of this workshop came the seven principles for ethical wildlife control.

The paper, which was published this month in the journal Conservation Biology under the title International consensus principles for ethical wildlife control, and is publicly available, does not focus on a single ethical standpoint, or biological function to determine effective, ethical control. It is, according to the authors, the first paper that poses several points to create a framework for control and conflict resolution. It can be boiled down to several questions: Can the problem be mitigated by changing human behavior? Are the harms serious enough to warrant wildlife control? Is the desired outcome clear and achievable, and will it be monitored? Does the proposed method carry the least animal welfare cost and to the fewest animals? Have community values been considered alongside scientific, technical, and practical information? Is the control action part of a systematic, long-term management program? Are the decisions warranted by the specifics of the situation rather than negative labels applied to the animals?

To discuss why we need a framework for ethical decision making in wildlife conflict, how these principles apply in various circumstances, and what a roll out of these guidelines could look like, Defender Radio was joined by co-author of the paper, and chief scientific officer at the BC SPCA, Dr. Sara Dubois.

Feb 20, 2017
Episode 416: Ending the USDA's War on Wildlife
37:18

There is a war on wildlife in the United States, waged with federal dollars at the behest of large lobby groups. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but there’s no hiding the nefarious truth about this one. The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, has a small offshoot called the wildlife services program. This division has, for decades, slaughtered wildlife – to the tune of 500 animals per day – across America.

Despite the ongoing rise in scientific evidence pointing toward co-existence as a successful strategy to ending or preventing conflict with wildlife, this wildlife agency continues in its wild west style of management. But standing up for the animals are numerous non-profits, including the WildEarth Guardians.

The group recently updated and re-released their in-depth, solution-oriented report, War on Wildlife, that looks at the Wildlife Services program, and accompanies a new, action-focused website, endthewaronwildlife.org to help American supporters take action against the killing.

To discuss the report, the history of the USDA’s wildlife services program, and how we can all fight the war on wildlife, Defender Radio was joined by WildEarth Guardians’ Wildlife Co-existence Campaigner, Dr. Michelle Lute, and Carnivore Advocate, Kelly Nokes.

Feb 14, 2017
Episode 415: Saving Seals by the Sea Shore
24:11

Culling grey seals on Canada’s east coast will not help the recovery of Atlantic Salmon populations. That’s what the science says in a report prepared for the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. But that committee, in opposition to all things good and logical, has said they are recommending the government undertake a cull of grey seals to aid the recovery of wild salmon.

Killing seals on Canada’s east coast for economic purposes – not to be confused with the sustenance hunt undertaken by Inuit communities – is a political hot potato. This latest proposal is without merit, and could in fact have negative impacts on a fish population in recovery.

To talk about this report, her recent Huffington Post blog, what the science really shows about fisheries and seals, and the historic attempts to create an industry out of seal slaughter, Sheryl Fink, Director of Canadian Wildlife Campaigns for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, joined Defender Radio.

Feb 07, 2017
Episode 414: Compassionate Communication
01:00:14

Compassion is something we at The Fur-Bearers talk a lot about – but how do we speak with compassion? And, in a world of seemingly massive cultural, social, and political divides, is it worthwhile?

Compassionate communication is a concept that’s been around for some time – it frequently includes the use of self-awareness, empathy, and honest self-expression. In the case of The Fur-Bearers, it is often cited for how we communicate to others our facts and ethical stances on the use of fur, on wildlife conservation, and in the development of a more compassionate – and empathetical – culture.

But it isn’t always easy – we see, hear, and read the harrowing truths of how animals are treated. We’re exposed to systemic hate of races, cultures, and species in the daily news. And we’re also confronted with the realities of confirmation bias, sensationalism, and misinformation mixed in with reliable information. Sorting through all of this – and finding a way to be more compassionate in our communication is a struggle. And that’s why this week we talked with Dr. Carrie Packwood Freeman.

Dr. Freeman is a tenured associate professor of communication at Georgia State University, hosts a radio talk show, and coauthored a report on how the media should be covering animals.

In this open and honest conversation, Dr. Freeman joined Defender Radio to explore topics of communicating across social divides, internet trolls, compassion in times of conflict, and the daily tools we can use to improve our compassionate communications skills.

Jan 31, 2017
Episode 413: Oh, The Places They'll Go
31:29

Stopping wildlife conflict, protecting individuals, and ensuring co-existence can be a struggle after development. But it can be a whole lot easier if you incorporate it into the planning stages, and that’s exactly what Dr. Lael Parrott hopes to accomplish.

The UBC professor recently spoke to the Kelowna Capital News about her work in the region to create wildlife corridors as part of the development and expansion of the area, particularly surrounding precious agricultural and natural places. By combining variables such as how individual animal species behave at specific times of year and interact with other variables, with detailed geographic information and other data, then running it all through a computer, Dr. Parrott can reasonably predict how wildlife will react and respond to various planning options.

Her work has impressive potential to mitigate existing conflict, too. In Whistler, Dr. Parrott’s team is using the same system of modelling to determine if electric fencing placed in specific areas on the landscape could reduce bear conflict, and, ultimately, save the lives of animals.

To discuss this fascinating work, the system she uses, and why advocates need to be aware of this modern planning tool for wildlife conflict prevention, Dr. Parrott joined Defender Radio.

Jan 23, 2017
Episode 412: Don't Fence Me In
46:28

The Little Smoky caribou herd is in trouble, and the Alberta government is gearing up for a plan that scientists and advocates claim will only waste money – and could actually harm wildlife populations.

Less than 100 of the ungulates remain, and unless something is done, the population – and the species itself – could disappear from Canada forever. Studies have shown that the greatest risk to the caribou is habitat alteration – primarily from the exploration and exploitation of resources that create roads, carve out seismic lines used for geological surveying, and the general fragmentation of the landscape.

Under the apparently false flag of conservation, the Alberta government has infamously slaughtered hundreds of wolves instead of ending habitat fragmentation. Government reports have shown that the province’s experts don’t think this will save the caribou – only repairing the habitat can do that. But instead of doing the one thing science shows will be successful, the government has launched another plan – to build a fence system to effectively farm caribou. Other ungulates and predators found within this fenced area will be killed, and if the breeding is successful, caribou will be released periodically.

Dr. Gilbert Proulx, an independent scientist and head of Alpha Wildlife Research and Management Limited, has coauthored a paper that takes a critical look at the plan to fence in caribou – and why it will ultimately fail. To discuss this paper, the situation facing the Smoky Mountain caribou, and what the public can do to put a stop to a costly and potentially lethal plan, Dr. Proulx joined Defender Radio.

Jan 16, 2017
Episode 411: Pooches, Perception, and Compassion
42:21

If you see a dog sit down and pant, are they smiling, or showing anxiety? If they roll on their back, is it submissive, or simply an ask for a belly rub? And what, possibly, do these questions have to do with how we communicate messages of greater social change?

A conversation on dog behaviour and our perception of it – namely, focused on the upsetting incident of a polar bear killing a dog around the same time a video of a polar bear touching a dog at the same location went viral – was the original purpose of this week’s Defender Radio episode. A discussion of critical thinking, dog behaviour, and perception is, of course, where we started. But in talking with Joan Watson, a dog behaviourist, owner of K9 Shrink, and Animal Behaviour/Ethics instructor at Durham College, a bigger picture started to form.

Could the way we perceive behaviour in dogs, and how we start to understand what our canine companions really need, help us foster compassionate change in other arenas? Could the experiences of learning to exercise empathy in dealing with non-human animal issues show us clues into having better conversations on policy and social reform?

In this last Defender Radio episode of 2016, you’ll find out just how much we can learn from our canine friends, and how Joan Weston helped us ask the right questions that may lead to a better 2017.

Dec 19, 2016
Episode 410: Doug's Story
19:42

Jaclyn Penney’s family is in mourning. Their beloved dog, Doug, who had been with them only six months, died in front of Jaclyn’s mother from the unrelenting crush of a snare trap in November. While out for a walk on their dead end, residential street near Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Doug wandered only several feet from the side of the road when he activated the snare, quickly killing him.

It is a trauma that no animal should endure. But that day, Jaclyn had to find a way to tell her young son why his friend wasn’t waiting for him when he came home from school.

An interview with the CBC, and hundreds of emails from supporters of The Fur-Bearers, got the attention of the province’s Minister of Environment and Conservation Perry Trimper, whose office reached out to Jaclyn to set up a meeting.

Jaclyn joined Defender Radio to share what was discussed in that meeting, as well as how her family is handling the tragic loss of Doug and trying to move forward.

Dec 13, 2016
Episode 409: Finding Shelter
26:46

The Rowels family was trying to find a home. But when they arrived in a tiny town in southern Bulgaria, they found their calling: finding homes for street dogs.

The heartwarming story began with Diane and Tony Rowels looking for a change in their family’s life. The couple moved themselves and their children to Rudozem, Bulgaria, where they hoped to perhaps open a café. Instead, they became protectors of street dogs, opened a shelter, and help rehome hundreds of dogs across Europe.

Their story, with its ups and downs, loss and beauty, is told in a documentary directed by a long-time supporter of The Fur-Bearers, Erin Parks. Finding Shelter, the story of the Rudozem Street Dog Rescue, is available now on the iTunes store, with proceeds going to help the dogs. To share with us insight into the Rowels’ family story, the impact they’re making for the dogs, and how wanting to tell the stories of various animal rescues around the world led to focusing on this very special family, Erin Parks joined Defender Radio.

Dec 06, 2016
Episode 408: Cougars, Co-existence, and the Capacity to Care
45:17

Two cougars killed by the Conservation Officer Service in a coastal community in British Columbia created quite the stir this week. Social media and the traditional media were fascinated by photos captured by a resident, Gladys Miller, showing the juvenile cougars hunting a seal, and lazing about the tiny town of Ocean Falls. The decision to kill the cougars, who the conservation officers say were habituated, conditioned, and a threat to public safety, also fascinated many, generating news articles, social media posts, and blogs, much like the one posted at TheFurBearers.com earlier today.

Bryce Casavant, the former Conservation Officer who was ostracized by the government for refusing to kill two healthy bear cubs in 2014, told Defender Radio he’d like to talk about the situation. While we expected a brief chat, followed by a more extensive interview with a biologist, the interview went in a much different direction.

A surprisingly candid conversation with Bryce ensued about his experience making life and death choices, struggling with conditions and circumstances regarding wildlife and human conflict, public perceptions of cougars, fear, and safety, and his new work as a doctoral candidate at Royal Roads University exploring humankind’s compassion to care about animals. And that conversation in its entirety is this week’s episode of Defender Radio.

Nov 30, 2016
Episode 407: A Day To End Seal Products
20:25

“Don’t tell me, show me,” is a way of noting that actions mean more than words. And maybe it’s a lesson Canadian parliamentarians need when it comes to fishermen and seal hunters in eastern Canada.

Sheryl Fink, director of Canadian Wildlife Campaigns for IFAW, today published an article on the Huffington Post about a small private members’ bill from the Senate that represents a big problem. Bill S-208, if passed, would create National Seal Products Day. The intent is pretty obvious: to increase world interest in seal fur products from the commercial seal hunt in Canada. This is not the Inuit or sustenance hunt of the far North – it is a strictly commercial enterprise that has dwindled for decades – and finally crashed in 2009 with a European Union prohibition on commercially-harvested seal products.

Sherly joined Defender Radio to talk about her article, a petition Canadians can sign to let their politicians know how they feel about the commercial seal hunt, and how we can stop talking about seal products, and start showing sustainable economic solutions to families in eastern Canada.

Nov 21, 2016
Episode 406: Giving A Hoot for Species At Risk
25:26

The frightening reality is that British Columbia has no species at risk or endangered species laws on the books.

Species at Risk legislation is what it sounds like – policies that are put in place to protect all species that’s population is deemed, scientifically, to be in a precarious position within an environment. This can range from aquatic plant life to terrestrial mammals, and small flowers to big birds. Remarkably, British Columbia has no provincial species at risk legislation.

Right now, as part of their five-year-plan to protect species at risk (which doesn’t include developing standalone species at risk legislation), BC is accepting comments on a series of topics. This unique opportunity is only available through the end of November, and getting educated is the first step to putting together compelling responses. Defender Radio was joined by Joe Foy, National Campaign Director at The Wilderness Committee to talk about species at risk legislation in BC – and how we can effectively participate in this government engagement initiative.

Nov 15, 2016
Episode 405: Challenging Cougar Conflict Misconceptions
42:28

Cougars are persecuted for the typical reasons: they’re large carnivores that, when they come into conflict with people or places people live, can do significant damage. Add on the instinctual fear we have of large predators, the media’s love of sensationalizing stories about wildlife, and it all starts to make sense.

But one study is challenging the way we should be looking at cougar-related conflict.

Dr. Chris Darimont, Hakai-Raincoast professor at University of Victoria, science director for Raincoast Conservation, and research scholar for the Hakai Institute, coauthored a study that looked at 30 years of cougar conflict data – along with 30 years of cougar hunting data – and has shown a startling correlation between the two in British Columbia.

In simple terms, when cougars are hunted – primarily as trophy animals – Dr. Darimont’s study shows that conflict with livestock and people goes up. To discuss this paper, its wide-ranging ramifications, and why the government and hunters are trying their best to ignore it, Dr. Darimont joined Defender Radio.

Nov 08, 2016
Episode 404: Trophy
40:55

Ninety-one percent of people in British Columbia oppose the trophy hunting of grizzly bears, from all demographics and geographic regions. Economic studies have shown that grizzly bear viewing is the future of ecotourism in British Columbia, significantly outperforming the guided hunts. And First Nations people – on whose traditional land many of the hunts take place – are condemning a government that ignores their wishes. But still, the hunt goes on.

And those who lobby for this bloody activity have a new opponent to facedown: LUSH Cosmetics.

The ethical business that has supported many social and environmental causes around the world – including The Fur-Bearers’ #MakeFurHistory campaign – have entered the ring with plans for a knockout punch. Trophy, a documentary presented by LUSH with the vision of their in-house director Inder Nirwan, looks at the issue of grizzly bear trophy hunting across North America, and asks the ultimate question: can we truly justify killing these animals for sport?

On this week’s episode, Defender Radio connected with Douglas Neasloss, Chief Councillor and Resource Stewardship Director of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, to discuss the traditional and economic importance of the grizzly bear to his nation, as well as his experiencing dealing with a provincial government that simply isn’t listening. We also spoke with LUSH Cosmetic’s Inder Nirwan, the director and primary filmmaker behind Trophy

Oct 31, 2016
Episode 403: The Wolf Policy Paradox
30:21

The status of wolves is a contentious subject these days. Between myths and fact, depredation and trophic cascades, it seems that every opinion is equally right, and wrong. It only follows that when it comes to making policy about wolves, that paradox would follow.

A perfect example of this comes from Ontario, where the newly-identified Algonquin Wolf was given threatened status over summer. The genetically unique subspecies of wolf already received protection in Algonquin Provincial Park – but due to the Algonquin wolf’s status, a review of additional protections was in order. On the table for review was a plan to prohibit trapping and hunting in various management units of all wolves, including the not-threatened grey wolf, and coyotes, which can be so morphologically like the Algonquin wolf, only DNA can differentiate the species.

Ultimately, no one was really happy with the government’s decision, including the researcher who spoke with Defender Radio. Hannah Barron, Director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns at Earthroots, joined us to talk Algonquin wolves, science-based conservation, and the failings of poor policy.

Oct 24, 2016
Episode 402: The Bear Facts of the Scientific Method
50:08

It seems that much of society has lost its grip on what words like facts or theories actually mean, and how they should and shouldn’t be used. It becomes particularly concerning, however, when these words get used incorrectly in popular media or in discussions about policy affecting wildlife and the environment.

Even amongst advocates we see misuse of scientific terms, or arguments that aren’t as strong as they could be due to an inability to properly engage the scientific community.

Fortunately, education is always possible, and that’s why Defender Radio connected with Biologist and doctoral candidate Kyle Artelle to review the bear (get it?) facts of the scientific method.

Oct 18, 2016
Episode 401: Nathaniel's Message of Hope
16:41

Though it has been a rough week for animal advocates, I’m very pleased to be starting this new season with a message of hope.

On Wednesday, October 5, Bill C-246 - the Modernizing Animal Protections Act – was defeated in the federal House of Commons. The private members bill, which was put forward by Toronto-area MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, would have updated the criminal code as it relates to bestiality and animal cruelty, banned the importation of shark fins, prohibited the importation and sale of dog and cat fur, and require all fur products to be labelled. Most animal advocates – and many MPs – saw this as a common sense update to outdated laws.

Despite widespread support, the bill was stopped at its second reading – the second phase of a private members’ bill. Parliamentarians voted down the forward progress of the legislation by a margin of 198 to 84, with a number of Liberals and all but one Conservative member saying nay.

Though his bill was defeated, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith remains hopeful that Canada is another step closer to a more compassionate future, and he joined Defender Radio today – less than 48 hours after the vote – to share his message of hope.

Oct 07, 2016
Episode 332: A Shot In The Dark
28:46

The word science is often used as a shield when discussing wildlife policies, particularly management of predators in relation to depredation. Whether it’s governments, lobbyists for hunters and trappers, or even some wildlife protection advocates, the word can get flung around so much you’d think there’s an endless well of studies on the subject.

But there’s a surprisingly small amount of reliable research available – and much of what has been published in journals has significant flaws. That means that, to paraphrase the title of the study we’re discussing today, wildlife management becomes a shot in the dark.

Dr. Adrian Treves of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, along with his coauthors, published a study earlier this month in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment that looks at the existing science on this subject. Titled Predator Management Should Not Be a Shot in the Dark, Treves and his team reviewed the majority of available studies on the effectiveness of depredation, and their shocking findings led them to recommend a suspension of all “lethal predator control methods that do not currently have rigorous evidence for functional effectiveness in preventing livestock loss until gold-standard tests are completed.”

To talk about his study, the research, and the ramifications he and his team may face for going against the status quo, Defender Radio was joined by Dr. Adrian Treves.

Sep 14, 2016
Episode 331: Simply (smelly) skunks
20:01

When it comes to skunks, most of us have one of two images in our head. The first is the stinky animal we avoid at all costs. The other… well, the other is a little unrealistic.

The striped predators are surprisingly charming, playful, and loving animals – from a distance. And as a common fur-bearer in urban areas, they can often end up getting into trouble.

Fortunately, there are wildlife rehabilitators like the Wildlife Rescue Association in Burnaby, British Columbia, who are always ready to leap into action to help critters that find themselves injured due to human activity. And to tell us more about skunks – and some of the issues they face this time of year – we were joined by Janelle Vandeerbeek of the WRA.

Aug 23, 2016
Episode 330: Wolves in the crosshairs
27:37

Woodland caribou aren’t doing too well in Alberta. Two herds specifically, those in the Little Smoky and A La Peche ranges, are at risk of extirpation, or local extinction. Under federal endangered species legislation, Alberta is required to take action. Sadly, this has put wolves in the crosshairs of poor policy and planning.

Recently, a proposal that would lengthen the campaign of wolf killing in an unscientific attempt to prevent losses to the herds, as well as ignore critical changes to habitat through resource exploitation, was fought by a group of wildlife advocates, headed by Wolf Awareness Inc.

To discuss the natural history of Alberta’s wolves, the potentially disastrous proposal being considered by the province, and what wolf lovers around the world can do to stop it, Defender Radio was joined by Sadie Parr, executive director of Wolf Awareness Inc.

Aug 17, 2016
Episode 329: Algonquin's Wolves
30:45

The provincial park is home to the Eastern wolf – now often referred to as Algonquin Wolves. These wolves are considered a threatened species and, within the park and a buffer zone, receive protections from hunting and trapping. Given the difficulty in identifying an Algonquin wolf from a coyote or a mix of the two, these protections extend to the similar looking canids.

But studies are showing that as soon as the wolves leave these protective enclaves, be it chasing prey or searching for new territories, they quickly become victims of hunters and trappers. Can select areas of protection truly help restore the Algonquin wolf’s population to healthy levels, or will connected buffers and larger areas of land be necessary?

To talk about the situation facing the Algonquin wolf – as well as Ontario’s coyotes, Defender Radio was joined by Hannah Barron, Director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns for Earthroots.

Aug 08, 2016
Episode 328: How to rescue BC's rangers
26:12

Across BC’s vast landscape is over 14 million hectares of protected lands and provincial parks. Tourists from around the world flock to these beautiful, picturesque destinations, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy.

And there are only seven people to protect it all.

The Wilderness Committee, a BC-based NGO recently sent out a press release that outlined the dire straights of the BC Parks ranger program, noting that there are fewer park rangers than there are critically endangered spotted owls left in the province.

To discuss what this means, what the consequences truly are, and how the public can help rescue the rangers, Defender Radio was joined by Gwen Barlee of The Wilderness Committee.

Jul 11, 2016
Episode 327: Mysterious Marmots
41:21

As many as 30 Vancouver Island Marmots are presumed dead after their embedded transmitters failed to activate following their hibernation this spring. The Vancouver-area media picked up on this story and made it national news – after all, people in the area have loved them for years.

But for the rest of Canada, the coverage of 30 missing rodents left us scratching our heads. What are Vancouver Island Marmots? Why are people so interested in them? What makes them different from other marmots all across the country? And what difference would it make if they lived on Vancouver Island or not?

To get answers to these questions and many more, Defender Radio was joined by Adam Taylor, Executive Director of The Marmot Recovery Foundation.

Jul 04, 2016
Episode 326: The BS in BSL
01:21:20

From Stubby, the highly decorated canine soldier in World War One, to Pete the Pup, who tagged along with the Little Rascals, pit bull like dogs were once a loyal friend and family pet. But due to media sensationalism, reactionary politics, and crippling bias, they are being outlawed and ostracized.

Recently, communities within Quebec and La Belle Province itself have proposed numerous actions they say will protect citizens from dangerous dogs – but most of these actions are simply breed specific legislation. Defender Radio was today joined by two special guests – Anita Kapuscinska of the Montreal SPCA to speak about legislation in Quebec, and Dr. Karen Overall, a veterinary specialist and researcher, to discuss myths and facts about dogs and pit bull-like dogs around the world.

Jun 23, 2016
Episode 325: Uncertainty, certainly
27:41

We began to tentatively celebrate when earlier this month the Auditor General of British Columbia revealed there would be an investigation into the trophy hunting of grizzly bears.

The exact notification, found on the AG website, read the investigation would be to, “determine if the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations are effectively managing the grizzly bear population in BC.”

The announcement is a result of the AG’s office seeing a peer-reviewed study conducted by our friends at Raincoast Conservation Foundation on the matter of uncertainty in the wildlife policy as it existed in 2013. With support from the Victoria Environmental Law Centre and the David Suzuki Foundation, the study got the attention it deserves – and now we await the results of the investigation.

But what, exactly, did that study say? What is uncertainty in the science of ecology, and how does it – or should it – influence wildlife management policy? To answer these questions and walk us through the study, Defender Radio was joined by lead author and Raincoast biologist Kyle Artelle.

Jun 14, 2016
Episode 324: Alberta's Animal Awakening
11:50

When the words ‘animal sentience’ and ‘Alberta’ popped up in The Fur-Bearers’ news feeds, we had an office full of cartoonish double-takes. It was revealed last week that the NDP government in the bluest province of the nation is looking to improve their animal welfare standards – and among the changes, there’s indications that they may incorporate laws that recognize non-human animals as sentient beings.

This is a move that Quebec made last year, and other governments around the world have considered or implemented. But Alberta is also the largest livestock producer, and is home to one of the largest annual rodeos in the world. They’re recognized as Canada’s old west, oil-centric, Conservative stronghold. What could animal sentience in Alberta possibly look like?

To find out, Defender Radio connected with Animal Justice executive director and legal expert Camille Labchuk.

Jun 09, 2016
Episode 323: Questioning Zoos
32:43

It’s been a bad few weeks for zoo animals in North America. Harambe, a silverback gorilla in the Cincinnatti Zoo, was shot to death after a young child found his way into the large primate’s enclosure. Rebel, a gray wolf at a Wisconsin Zoo, was killed so he could be tested for rabies after a child was bitten on the fingers through a fence while in a restricted area. And at a small petting zoo set up for children in Ontario, animals were left without shelter or water on a sweltering summer day.

As the harsh reality of life in a zoo has started settling upon the North American pop media psyche, familiar questions have started arising: do animals belong in zoos? Aren’t zoos helping conserve endangered species? How else will children learn about animals?

We don’t have the answers to all of these questions – only more questions, really. But to help us ask them of ourselves, and to explain what we can do to improve the lives of animals in zoos, Defender Radio was joined by children’s book author and head of non-profit Zoocheck, Rob Laidlaw.

Jun 06, 2016
Episode 322: Cause & Effect of Conflict
33:20

We know that grizzly bears love fish. We know that grizzly bears can come into conflict with people and infrastructure. And now, thanks to researchers at Raincoast Conservation Foundation, we know how those two facts are tied together.

Earlier this month, Raincoast published their study, Ecology of conflict: Marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land, in the journal Scientific Reports. By examining over three decades of conflict-killed grizzly reports, the researchers determined that food availability was the greatest cause of conflict – and that other factors such as hunting or population changes played a much less significant role.

To discuss this study, what it means for policy decisions in the future, and why understanding how important ecological studies are to wildlife management, Defender Radio spoke with the lead author of the study Kyle Artelle, who is a biologist for Raincoast and a Hakai PhD scholar at Simon Fraser University.

May 31, 2016
Episode 321: Cull is a four-letter word
35:10

Cull is a four-letter word – and that double-meaning is finally becoming more clear. For years, governments and consumptive wildlife users have argued that culls are necessary – be it for protecting game species, land, or to encourage a specific type of behaviour from hunters and trappers.

But science, advocates, and, it seems, even government reports, indicate that these culls are so ineffective that in some cases their effect is a complete 180 from the intended result.

This week, Defender Radio connected with two people who have interesting things to say about culls. First, we’ll hear from Dr. Adrian Treves of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose recent study has revealed that, in his test area, a cull initiated to reduce poaching of wolves actually increased the illegal hunting.

We’ll also hear from Krista Roessingh of Pacific Wild, one of the groups responsible for a court action against the British Columbia government’s culling of wolves to allegedly protect endangered mountain caribou herds – and the shocking revelations that came as a result of the court case.

May 17, 2016
Episode 320: Advocacy in Markham
27:20

Do compassion and city politics go together? Can we really expect local politicians to do what’s right for the animals, and still balance their duties to their constituents, who the see every day?

If you’re Valerie Burke, you find a way. The City Councillor from Markham has successfully advocated for wildlife in her constituency – including supporting an initiative launched by The Fur-Bearers last year to asking fast food franchises to change the dome lids on beverage containers that have proven disastrous for animals like skunks.

To introduce The Fur-Bearers to the City of Markham and her wildlife advocacy as a politician, Councillor Burke recently joined Defender Radio.

May 09, 2016
Episode 319: #YMMFire Special Report
29:43

The wildfires in Fort McMurray this week have destroyed homes and ways of life. And as residents fled as part of mandatory evacuations, the question lingers for everyone watching: will life ever be the same again?

There is little that many of us can do to help those who have lost everything, but donate to organizations like the Red Cross or the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team when able, and offer a consoling hug to someone in need. We can also look around our own homes at times like these, and see the many things that make our lives special – including our pets.

Having plans in place for when emergency strikes is an important step for preventing tragic loss – and today we connected with two different individuals to talk about such plans.

First we’ll hear from Donna Wackerbaur, a member of the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, who has seen firsthand the intensity of the aftermath from wildfires, and understands the need for preparation. We’ll also hear from Louise Liebenberg, a predator friendly rancher at The Graziere in Alberta, who personally lost pets, guardian animals, and livestock during a horrific fire. Building out an emergency plan has been vital for her business, and she shares with us the importance of thinking through contingencies.

May 05, 2016
Episode 318: C-246
34:25

In February a private members bill was introduced to the House of Commons by a rookie Liberal MP. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, member for Beaches – East York, stood up and read, for the record, the title of his first bill: C-246. That bill passed first reading without much fanfare, but now, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act is being hotly debated across the country.

From hard right conservatives who are looking for a fight to farmers with legitimate concerns, a range of criticisms has arisen about C-246, how its language on closing criminal code loopholes could impact legitimate and legal animal use, and whether or not there is even a need for such legislation.

The Fur-Bearers are proud to have consulted on the fur-related portions of the bill, and were joined on Defender Radio by its author, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, to discuss the three main components of the legislation, the far-fetched criticisms created by some conservative members, and how supporters can help protect animals by making C-246 law.

Apr 25, 2016
Episode 317: Paws for Hope
44:30

There are nearly 200 volunteer-run animal rescue organizations in British Columbia. The majority of them do not receive government funding, have little to no full-time staff, and have countless animals depending on them. But there’s hope for them all.

Paws for Hope was founded five years ago in BC with a dream of creating “more sustainable animal welfare and purposeful companion animal protection” in the province.

From providing infrastructure grants to helping street-involved persons or low-income families afford veterinary care, and running educational campaigns about pets to hosting compassion fatigue workshops, Paws for Hope is keeping busy.

Kathy Powelson, the executive director of Paws for Hope, joined Defender Radio to explain the background of this organization, the current campaigns, and where they hope to go in the future.

Apr 11, 2016
Episode 316: The Trophy Hunt Begins
28:08

Today the infamous trophy hunt of grizzly bears in British Columbia begins – and it’s no April Fool’s prank. Hunters from around the world will pay for the chance to hunt down one of the province’s most important predators – all for the sake of getting a trophy.

This issue has been covered extensively in past Defender Radio episodes, on our blog, and through traditional media. But today I was joined by two people who see first hand the importance, beauty and wonder of grizzly bears in British Columbia.

Eric and Trish Boyum own and operate Ocean Adventures aboard the Great Bear II – an ecotourism business and wildlife viewing vessel. The two have the opportunity to see beautiful grizzly cubs grow into adults, witness the important role they play in a sensitive ecosystem, and marvel at the incredible diversity of life along the coast of British Columbia. They are also among the first humans to see the travesty of a trophy hunt, and see the emotional and economic impacts.

Eric and Trish joined Defender Radio today to talk about the spring trophy hunt, their business, and why we must all speak for the grizzly bears of British Columbia.

Apr 01, 2016
Episode 315: Herd
30:26

They once defined the great prairies of North America. Buffalo herds numbered as high as 50 million animals before European settlement began. And after centuries of devastation, their numbers remain low: no more than 500,000 buffalo remain, many of which are farmed.

In Yellowstone National Park, one of the last wild herds roams – 7,000 some buffalo who want nothing more than to live as they were meant to. But their lives are full of obstacles.

From the impact of ranchers grazing on public lands to outdated and potentially cruel herding techniques, the last buffalo of Yellowstone face dangers most of us would never imagine.

A pending documentary, herd, is set to explore these issues and tell the stories of the buffalo. Currently in its Kickstarter campaign, herd’s trailer shows just how powerful this film might be – the equivalent of what Blackfish did for orcas, or Cowspiracy for livestock. To discuss the project and what’s needed to make it happen, Defender Radio was joined by filmmaker Justin Keitzer.

Mar 21, 2016
Episode 314: Special Report
11:48

Headlines are popping up in Ontario and B.C. alike – dangerous illnesses including distemper and rabies are appearing at rates higher than usual. Though excellent bait programs in Ontario have kept rabies to few isolated cases in past decades, it seems that some animals are hitching rides across the border, and bringing minor outbreaks with them. And in B.C., distemper infamously claimed the lives of four puppies at an SPCA shelter, increasing awareness and fear of the often fatal ailment.

Though these headlines are assisting in the educational campaigns of veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators across the country, some unnecessary worry is growing as well.

To share information about distemper and rabies, what it actually looks like in wildlife and pets, how to reduce the risks of infection, and the absolute importance of vaccination to wild animals, domestic animals, and even humans, we were joined by Dr. Christine Coghlan of Preston Animal Clinic in Cambridge, Ontario.

Mar 14, 2016
Episode 313: Fear itself
21:46

In the animal kingdom, the power of fear is something no one would question. Fear can impact and control entire populations, affect whole ecosystems, and even change the path of evolution. But is it something we can measure – and once and for all, prove that the role of predators is more than just what they eat?

A new study from Raincoast Conservation Foundation does just that. Led by Raincoast’s ecologist and PhD student Justin Suraci, the team of scientists showed through experiments that the mere presence of predators can impact the behaviour of mesopredators and other species further down the food chain.

By using the sound of dogs barking Suraci and his team validated that fear itself is indeed something to behold.

To talk more about this study, its real world applications, and what it could be mean in future policy planning, Defender Radio was joined by Raincoast’s Justin Suraci.

Mar 01, 2016
Episode 312: On the origins of conflict
21:00

If there’s one thing the media loves, it’s wild animals attacking humans. It’s got everything: adventure, blood, trauma, and typically, a hunt for the offending animal. There are all kinds of experts to speak with, charts and maps to create, and wonderful ways to play with headlines. They are, of course, making a minor problem worse.

Many of us involved in wildlife advocacy have learned that it’s typically people who are at fault for conflict – be it violent or the flower-eating variety. And there’s a growing body of evidence that indicates just how responsible humans are for conflict with wildlife.

A study published by a group of scientists this month in the journal Scientific Reports highlights some of the major contributing factors to the increase in wildlife conflict with large predators around the world – and the biggest factors lay solely in the opposable-thumbs of the human race.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Vincenzo Penteriani of the Spanish Council of Scientific Research joined Defender Radio to discuss the findings of this group, how we as a species can change our ways for the betterment of wildlife, and what the consequences could be if we don’t.

Feb 08, 2016
Episode 311: The advocacy of Dr. Marc Bekoff
22:15

Whenever we talk compassionate conservation, ethics, emotions of wildlife, or the benefits of drinking single malt Scotch through a Twizzler, there’s really only one man to call: Dr. Marc Bekoff. And fortunately for us at The Fur-Bearers, Marc has been a good sport and chatted with us regularly on Defender Radio.

Late last week we connected with the best-selling author, blogger, and professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, and nothing was left off the table.

From the trophy hunt in British Columbia to his latest books, and from the "management" of wolves and coyotes in Ontario to how important it is for scientists to become advocates, we covered it all.

Feb 03, 2016
Episode 310: John Marriott Exposed
26:07

The trophy hunting of grizzly bears and culling of wolves have been hot topics in the news in recent years, and it’s only heating up. In British Columbia, we’ve partnered with LUSH Cosmetics and numerous conservation groups to let the public know they can formally comment on new policy proposals under the hashtag campaign #LeaveThemInPeace. In Alberta and Ontario, we’re constantly speaking against new policies to make it easier to kill wolves for unscientific and unethical reasons.

And when the world looks to see just who these animals are, they often see them through the eye of wildlife photographer John Marriott.

An accomplished and notable photographer based out of Banff, Alberta, John has donated his beautiful photos to numerous non-profits and sold them to major magazines like National Geographic. He has spent his life refining his craft and become a master story teller with his camera, often giving a unique look inside the lives of animal families deep in the Canadian wild.

He has also recently launched a new web series, appropriately named Exposed, which is already smashing expectations with high viewership and discussion.

To share more about his life as a wildlife photographer, his messages against trophy hunting and cruelty, and what will come next, John joined Defender Radio.

Jan 25, 2016
Episode 309: The Compassionate Man
26:02

From host Michael Howie: I can’t speak for every animal-loving man out there, but when I stand and take a look at a magazine rack, there isn’t a lot for me. I love to cook and eat – but most of the magazines aren’t appropriate for me as a vegan; I like to work out and lift weights, but I don’t want to flip through pages of testosterone-fuelled rage; and pretty much every other lifestyle magazine for men tries to justify the stereotypical masculine status quo – something that I spend most of my time rallying against.

And that’s why I was thrilled to learn about Compassionate Man. As a vegan who has struggled with the realities of what modern culture expects of a man, Nicholas Coughlin found a way to express himself – and create a community for others. His young digital magazine, Compassionate Man, features lifestyle articles on a variety of topics, including cooking and recipes, exercise tips, diet, and interviews with big names like Gene Bauer and Bob Barker.

To talk more about this exciting new magazine and how he hopes to evolve the dialogue of how men view themselves, Nick joined Defender Radio.

Jan 18, 2016
Episode 308: Animals in Science
50:16

We can’t be sure if you heard the news, but late last year, senate bill S-214 hit the media. It’s a bill that, if passed by both the senate and the House of Commons, would eliminate the use of animals in testing cosmetic products in Canada. We all cheered because it’s a huge win for the animals. But we also had a good think about it – because why are we still testing cosmetics on animals in the second decade of the 21st century?

Sadly, it isn’t just the cosmetics industry that uses animals to test their products in Canada. Everyone from medical researchers to veterinarians to grade 9 biology students are using animals. But they don’t need to.

The Animals in Science Policy Institute is a new non-profit organization that’s sole focus is to provide a “critical and constructive dialogue about the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing in Canada.”

To learn more about this fascinating organization and the important work they’ll be doing, in late December we connected with founding executive director Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy.

Jan 13, 2016
Episode 307: Making a case for animals
24:26

Last month there was a lot of hubbub in wildlife and animal welfare circles about two big legal news items: Quebec creating legislation to recognize animals as sentient beings, and the case against a woman whose business is to raise wolves in a petting zoo – then sell their fur when they die.

In our first episode of 2016, we’re bringing you interviews recorded in December that cover both of these important issues.

We’ll hear from Sophie Gaillard, an attorney and campaign coordinator with the Montreal SPCA to discuss changes in the Quebec national assembly, as well as Christopher Berry, an attorney with the US-based Animal Legal Defense Fund to talk about the case against the wolf farmer in Maine.

Jan 04, 2016
Episode 306: The reindeer revolt
05:01

While recording this year’s special Christmas episode, a surprising phone call came in on the Defender Radio hotline. A reindeer named Agnes (yes, reindeer are Scottish, more on that in the episode) had reached out from the North Pole – with a threat to bring Christmas in Canada to a crashing halt due to how much fur she’d seen this year.

Will Christmas be cancelled this week? Will children and adults alike wake up to find no presents? You’ll have to tune in to this week’s Defender Radio to find out!

Dec 21, 2015
Episode 305: #banshockcollars
48:45

Shock collars are inherently inhumane and potentially traumatizing devices used to illicit specific reactions from dogs. For a long time, their use was supported by trainers and veterinarians. But science and the massive combined experience of top trainers have shown them for what they really are – and revealed more effective, humane methods of training.

The Ban Shock Collars movement was introduced to you in an episode last season, but there are some pretty exciting updates to share – not the least of which is that their ePetition is the first to be formally recognized in Canadian history. Any Canadian resident can sign this petition and you just need to follow the links on this week’s blog or hit up banshockcollars.ca to find it.

The group has also gained the support of Olympic figure skater Meagan Duhamel and iconic Canadian environmentalist and activist David Suzuki.

On this week’s episode, we’re talking with Ban Shock Collars.ca spokesperson Lucas Solowey about the movement, the petition, and why Canadians need to get involved. We’re also hearing from renowned dog behavior expert, trainer, and best-selling author Jean Donaldson, about the pitfalls of shock collars and what alternatives exist.

Dec 14, 2015
Episode 304: Meet the #MammothMovement
12:15

I’m a bit late with this week’s episode but I have a good excuse – last week I had surgery on my sinuses, a procedure that will help me breathe – and talk – without complications for the first time in several years. You’ll be hearing a whole lot more of me – whether you like it or not. On top of that solid excuse, I’ve also got some incredible news that makes the wait worthwhile: we’re going to bring an end to coyote fur trim.

This week we launched an exciting new partnership with a company that’s offering something so many of us have waited so long for: a totally animal-free, deep cold jacket. Mammoth Outerwear, founded by CFL football player James Yurichuk, is offering these incredible made-in-Canada coats that will directly compete with the fur-trimmed jackets we’ve seen too often around our neighbourhoods.

And what puts Mammoth Outerwear even further over the top is the simple fact that a portion of proceeds from every animal-free jacket sold will be donated to The Fur-Bearers. I KNOW! Right now the jackets are exclusively available on Kickstarter with early bird pricing, so while you listen to this episode head on over and order yours before they’re gone! Let’s get into it with our very special guest, Founder of Mammoth Outerwear and professional football player James Yurichuk.

Nov 26, 2015
Episode 303: Spring killing returns to Ontario
27:13

It’s hard to describe the frustration I felt when I saw the announcement from the Ministry of Natural Resources here in Ontario – the spring bear hunt will be extended, expanded across the province. A little over two years ago I felt a similar level of frustration as the government said they would introduce a two-year pilot project of a spring hunt, which was cancelled in 1999, to try and curb human-bear conflicts.

At the time, government research indicates that it wouldn’t help curb the conflict; now, two years later, more evidence shows that not only did the hunt not help, but it will continue to not help. Everyone from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario to wildlife protection groups to the government’s own scientists have come to this conclusion – yet years of fear mongering and politicking continue to push the agenda.

To discuss the proposal put forth by the ministry and provide context, science, and a helping of practical experience, Defender Radio was joined by Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation.

Nov 15, 2015
Episode 302: The political wilderness
23:31

We have a new Prime Minister, new Members of Parliament, and a new cabinet. What does it all mean for the animals?

It’s hard to make a clear distinction. On one hand, we have a PMO that already seems more open and transparent than it has for the past 10 years; on the other, we have a Prime Minister who’s a little too fond of his Canada Goose coyote fur-trimmed parka. We have gender equality in the cabinet for the first time, and cabinet members who wore seal skin to their swearing-in ceremonies.

To help us break down what some of this means now, and over the next four years, we connected with political powerhouse Camille Labchuk. A former Green Party candidate and now the freshly minted executive director for Animal Justice Canada, Camille’s experience, education, and compassion gives her the unique perspective we need to help figure out what a red Canada means for the animals.

Nov 09, 2015
Episode 301: Whistler faces feeding crisis
29:16

Following our break for the 2015 Living With Wildlife Conference, we’re getting back into it with a tough situation facing bears – and those who want to protect them – in Whistler, British Columbia.

An unprecedented food shortage has affected the behaviour of the bears, who through September and October are looking for calories anywhere they can be found. As a result of this unique situation, Sylvia Dolson and the Get Bear Smart Society proposed a provincially-operated diversionary feeding program – effectively, they wanted to put natural foodstuffs into the wild areas to prevent the bears from pushing closer to human settled areas and the subsequent conflict that would arise.

The province ultimately rejected this plan and, despite Whistler’s reputation of being a Bear Smart community, several bears have been killed following conflict scenarios.

To discuss this difficult situation, potential solutions, and what the real cost of the consequences will be, Sylvia recently joined Defender Radio.

Nov 02, 2015
Episode 249: Living With Wildlife Preview
19:49

Thanksgiving has passed and we know what we’re thankful for: Living With Wildlife 2015 is finally here! This Friday, October 16, we’re bringing together some of the top experts on wildlife, conservation, and co-existence in Vancouver for our fifth annual conference.

I was lucky enough to catch time with two of our presenters prior to the event: the BC SPCA’s top scientist Dr. Sara Dubois, as well as Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s postdoctoral researcher Dr. Heather Bryan.

There are still a few seats available for this great event, so if you’re in the Vancouver area, make sure you register today at furbearerdefenders.com or by calling 604-435-1850.

Oct 13, 2015
Episode 248: Special Report: Wolf Week
16:47

Wolf week begins on October 12, and this year, the wolves could certainly use your help. Two massive culling programs are underway in western Canada, horrific traps remain legal, and many people still have a culturally-instilled fear of these keystone canids.

But these beautiful, family-oriented creatures play an integral role in our ecosystems, and there is much we can do to help them. To help discuss some of the ways we can get involved, as well as tell us more about a series of events taking place in BC, Alberta, and Ontario during wolf week, we were joined by Sadie Parr of Wolf Awareness Incorporated.

Oct 09, 2015
Episode 247: Asher Jay: Hear her roar
37:28

She’s travelled the world under the National Geographic Explorer banner; she’s created paintings that have defined movements for animal welfare; she’s designed Fabergé eggs that helped support anti-poaching efforts; and she’s coming to the 2015 Living With Wildlife conference in Vancouver.

Asher Jay is a designer, artist, writer, and activist who uses creative concepts and design to advance animal welfare, sustainable development, and humanitarian causes around the world. From laying in tent surrounded by lions to photographing the busy streets of New York City, her experiences have given her a unique perspective on all of these issues.

Asher joined Defender Radio recently to talk about her past, her passion and why she’s excited to be speaking at the 2015 Living With Wildlife conference on October 16.

Oct 05, 2015
Episode 246: BC's Environment Advocate
33:19

We’re officially four weeks out from the election today and the excitement is getting… well, it’s pretty much the same as it was. But we’re excited here at The Fur-Bearers because MLA for Vancouver West-End Spencer Chandra Herbert recently sat down with our executive director Lesley Fox to talk about issues facing fur-bearing animals in BC.

As the official opposition’s critic to the Minister of the Environment, Chandra Herbert has his finger on the pulse of many subjects surrounding the environment and wildlife in British Columbia. And that made him the perfect person to join Defender Radio and talk about such issues, as well as the upcoming federal election, why the environment should be top of mind for every Canadian, and why we need to get up and do something about it.

Sep 27, 2015
Episode 245: Special Report - Miley Cyrus and the BC wolves
24:27

International pop star Miley Cyrus visited the Great Bear Rainforest in BC with her brother to learn more about the controversial wolf cull and trophy hunting of grizzly bears. Her weekend sojourn was spent with advocates from the Kitasoo/Xais’Xai First Nation, scientists, and staffers from Pacific Wild.

Cyrus spoke to media extensively following her visit, noting that her previous passion to end the wolf cull for moral reasons now had science behind it.

When asked about the international attention being brought to the notorious cull and trophy hunts, Premier Christy Clark merely laughed away concern, and made a remark about Cyrus’s performance-based fashion choices.

Joining us to talk more about the visit of Cyrus, the surprising response of the Premier, and the science behind the #SaveBCWolves movement is Pacific Wild’s April Bencze.

Sep 23, 2015
Episode 244: Voting is your voice
19:14

We’re another week closer to the general election in Canada and the rhetoric is flying fast and furious. But despite the ongoing coverage of the election, subjects relating to the environment and particularly to wildlife has been somewhere between minimal and non-existent.

Does this mean that wildlife and the environment aren’t going to be campaign issues, or that the electorate doesn’t care? It’s quite the opposite, according to some new polling released last week by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The data was released in conjunction with IFAW’s election website, which helps voters identify their local candidates’ views on wildlife and the environment.

To share more with about this program and what Canadians had to say about wildlife and the 2015 election, we were joined by IFAW’s Sheryl Fink, Director of Canadian Wildlife Issues.

Sep 21, 2015
Episode 243: The shocking truth
44:12

Millions of our homes – at least half of all those in Canada – are shared with a four-legged friend. As a nation we spend billions of dollars on our pets, and most of us consider our larger pets – dogs and cats – to be members of the family. Despite this, there are a lot of gaps in legislation protecting our pets, including how we train them.

One highly controversial method of dog training includes e-collars, more commonly known as shock collars. Though there is no existing legislation or even consensus among retailers and trainers, there is strong opposition to the use of shock collars from some heavy hitters – and this week we got to hear what they had to say.

The couple behind BanShockCollars.ca, Gwendy and Alfie Williams (new partners of the LUSH Charity Pot program), joined us to share their tale of discovery about these devices, as well as what they’ve done in recent years to try and advocate against the use of shock collars. We were also fortunate to hear from renowned trainer, behaviourist and best-selling author Jean Donaldson, who shared her views on the evolution of dog training and the modern use of aversive devices.

Sep 13, 2015
Episode 242: Be a humane voter
24:23

Animal lovers know how frustrating politics can be, particularly during an election campaign. Despite the fact that the majority of Canadians have companion animals in their homes, and that the humane treatment of animals and their habitats is a priority for many voters, these issues rarely make it onto the floor of the House of Commons.

And the folks at Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund want to make that history.

Last week the organization launched Humane Voters Canada, a project that seeks to use election process to influence the legislature to improve the welfare and rights of non-human animals. To introduce us to this new project, how it will function, and how we can all play a role, Defender Radio was joined by Humane Voters Canada Director Jerry Simonelli.

Sep 06, 2015
Episode 241: Human Super-Predators
41:08

Predator control is a nasty business. Millions of animals are killed each year around the country to protect livestock, ecosystems and, depending on who you listen to, children. The problem with this entire system of treating predators as the bad guy is that we’re missing the biggest and the baddest of them all: us.

In a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal Science, researchers from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, University of Victoria (UVic), and the Hakai Institute pulled data from hundreds of studies worldwide to confirm that humans are dangerous “super-predators.”

To dive into how human actions are impacting fish populations, carnivore and herbivore relationships, and even changing the very course of evolution before our eyes, Defender Radio was fortunate to be joined by Raincoast science director and Hakai-Raincoast professor at UVic, Dr. Chris Darimont.

Aug 30, 2015
Episode 240: Law and order
46:57

We’re taking you into the world of animal law on this episode, featuring two major cases in the United States whose outcomes could very well change wildlife policy across the country.

The WildEarth Guardians are celebrating a victory in appeals court from earlier this month, which allows their legal action against the notorious Wildlife Service program of the USDA to move forward. And in the eastern US, the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, along with two partner organizations, is pushing a federal judge to halt the state’s trapping season to protect the endangered Canada Lynx.

Both of these cases could play major roles in preventing the needless slaughter of millions of fur-bearers in the United States and even influence future policy in Canada and abroad.

Aug 23, 2015
Episode 239: Alberta's wild future
27:52

From swift fox introduction to rehabilitation of baby bears, the Cochrane Ecological Institute and Cochrane Wildlife Reserve Society has done it all. Their resume of education, research and protecting Alberta’s biodiversity has given them a reliable and authoritative voice on all matters of wildlife policy and planning.

But the government has ignored their pleas over a barbaric program that sees bear cubs killed rather than rehabilitated – and without reliable data on how many bears there even are in the province at this point, it’s becoming a dangerous standard.

Lisa Dahlseide, Education Director at the Cochrane Ecological Institute, joined Defender Radio to talk about this ridiculous policy, the need for ongoing research in the province, and what people can do to help the wildlife of Alberta.

Aug 16, 2015
Episode 238: Speaking for the wolves
28:29

Most have us have been able to agree that the plan to cull wolves in British Columbia in order to protect endangered caribou herds is a bad idea – particularly since the wolves aren’t responsible for the plummeting population numbers of the caribou. But the government has not only pursued this plan with vigor, they’ve quietly stated it will be an annual slaughter for wolves for at least five years to come.

Monitoring the actions of the government and challenging the fringe science with which they’re attempting to support their plan is Wolf Awareness Incorporated. The non-profit group has spent countless hours poring through records, speaking with experts and conducting their own polls in opposition to this plan. Making matters worse, however, is that the government isn’t releasing all of the data they said they would – even under the auspices of the mighty Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act.

To talk more about the struggle to find the truth from a suspicious BC government, Defender Radio was joined by Wolf Awareness Inc. president and long-time wolf advocate Gary Allan.

Aug 09, 2015
Episode 237: The Cougar Channel
22:17

The world has been talking about the tragic death of a big cat in Africa this week. But there are many other species of big cats – and some are right here at home and in need of our protection.

At the front lines of protecting these fur-bearers is Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization that specializes in research, habitat conservation and policies to protect the big cats of the world. As part of their work, they’ve launched a new, interactive website, CougarChannel.org, which they hope will bring people closer to the legendary cats of North America.

We were joined by Dr. Mark Elbroch, Director of Science for Puma and Jaguar Programs at Panthera, to talk about the new Cougar Channel project, the latest research on big cats and their role in ecosystems, and why we need to protect our native cat species.

Aug 02, 2015
Episode 236: The journey of OR-7
31:53

For over 120 years, the gray wolf had been absent from the state of California. Extermination programs, recreational hunting, trapping for fur, and habitat loss, drove the populations down and out until they were extirpated. That is until OR-7.

The gray wolf, known internationally by his scientific tag designation, ventured over 1,500 kilometres from his pack in Rogue River, Oregon to the western part of the state and into California, making worldwide headlines and exciting wildlife lovers in America.

In the ensuing years since his iconic crossing of the state line, OR-7, also known by many as Journey, has sired two litters of pups in Oregon and continues to amaze researchers and advocates. Despite this success and recognition, however, OR-7’s life is not easy and his safety is not guaranteed.

Defender Radio was joined by Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity to discuss the world’s fascination with this wolf, what he represents to advocates and why policies are being debated that could see him murdered.

Jul 27, 2015
Episode 235: Breaking the news
31:40

The news – be it online, radio, television or print – can influence the world. One great photograph can show the heartbreak of a family and one well-written verse can bring down political empires. But most of the time, the news is just that – news. It’s the gathering and presenting of fact and opinion to the masses.

Then there are the times in between, when the news is influencing policymakers and the public in a nearly imperceptible manner. And that’s what we’re focusing on with our two guests this week.

We’ll first hear from celebrated author, trainer and dog behaviour expert Jean Donaldson, who joined the show to talk about how the media got it wrong in a recent human-dog conflict in Hamilton, and why the term ‘pit bull’ can bring up such dread in the masses – and excitement in reporters.

Then we’re joined by our friend Sheryl Fink from the International Fund for Animal Welfare for an update on how a single piece of paper found by a media outlet brought down the government’s entire argument for supporting the cull of grey seals on our east coast.

Jul 19, 2015
Episode 234: After bite
19:53

The mere mention of the Great White shark can give thrills and tremors to beachgoers, divers and surfers. When the news media picks up a story of a shark attack, we’re all subconsciously playing this infamous quote over and over in our minds: we’re going to need a bigger boat.

But despite the seeming increase in the number of shark attacks, historical data shows that statistically, you’re still more likely to be hit by bolt of lightning than become a snack for the ancient predators.

At the forefront of the discussion on shark attacks are the scientists who study the figures, the animals and our reaction to them. One such researcher is Dr. Francesco Ferretti of Stanford, who along with a team in Monterey, California, are bringing greater understanding of shark attacks and the need for conservation, education and reasonable publicly policy.

Dr. Ferretti joined Defender Radio last week to talk sharks – and whether or not it’s safe to go back into the water.

Jul 12, 2015
Episode 233: Special Report
18:02

The ongoing saga of BC Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant and the two bear cubs he refused to kill has captured the attention of Canada – and the world. News outlets from as far away as Germany and the UK have been monitoring the story as it unfolds this week. And Defender Radio is pleased to bring you the unabridged interview with the man caring for the two cubs and speaking out on behalf of CO Casavant.

Robin Campbell, who has helped wildlife recover for 30 years, took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the current state of the twin cubs, named Jordan and Athena, respond to critics in the media, and give his full version of the events that led to cubs being in the care of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association.

Petitions to reinstate CO Bryce Casavant and begin new funding, studies and education for the conservation service can be found at FurBearerDefenders.com. To help North Island Wildlife Recovery Association with their costs, visit www.niwra.org.

 

Jul 09, 2015
Episode 232: Managing the invasion
19:06

For thousands of years, humankind has studied the delicate interplay of species across the vast web of life. And for thousands of years, we’ve successfully screwed it right up.

From the time of Aristotle to today’s grade one classrooms, understanding how ecosystems work has been a vital part of scientific study. But what we don’t know, or, more appropriately, what we can’t fully and accurately measure and predict, far outweighs what we do know.

One of the greatest risks facing ecosystems, and one that we are almost always directly responsible for, is invasive species. From domestic cats to insects like the emerald ash borer to fungi causing disease in bat colonies, havoc is stretched around the globe.

And ecological scientists like Dr. Euan Ritchie at Deakin University in Australia are dedicated to trying to understand, and when possible measure, the minute roles that all of these species play in ecosystems.

In a recently published study, Dr. Ritchie and his colleagues explore the attempts to manage invasive species and the consequences – some of which may be lead to significant changes in management practice.

Dr. Ritchie joined Defender Radio to discuss this paper, the role predators play, and how we can work to improve policy for animals and the environment around the world.

Jun 29, 2015
Episode 231: Good news
28:46

We wanted to have a week that focuses on good news – and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

We connected with superstar lawyer Camille Labchuk to talk about Quebec’s new animal welfare legislation and what it means for the future of wildlife, animals in captivity and companion animals in la belle province.

We also got in touch with Dr. Carrie Packwood Freeman, a cultural studies professor who specializes in media communications and teaches journalists and the public what non-human animal news done right looks like.

Jun 22, 2015
Episode 230: Awkward Conversations
26:39

Uncomfortable discussions come up in the world of animal advocacy, just like any other field. But when we have our awkward conversations, there are often lives on the line.

This week we’re going to look at two such topics: dogs in hot cars and seal penises.

Dogs die every summer from coast-to-coast because they’re left in hot vehicles on warm days. We’ll be joined by Dr. Emilia Gordon of the BC SPCA who will help us understand the physiological changes dogs undergo when left in hot cars, as well as what dog lovers should know about cooling off overheated pups. Then we’ll connect with Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare to talk seal penises. It’s no prank – and you may have a lot of explaining to do to those around you when they see you switch from laughing to crying and back again following the interview.

Jun 14, 2015
Episode 229: CSI: Coyote scene investigators
38:57

When conflict arises between coyotes and humans, the coyotes typically get the short end of the stick. Trapping, hunting and all-out culls are always on the horizon when coyotes are involved in incidents. But, it’s not always a coyote who is responsible for perceived or actual conflict; sometimes it can be predatory birds, other terrestrial mammals like bears or raccoons, and it can even be domestic dogs.

Finding the truth is the ultimate goal whenever and wherever conflict exists – and that’s the speciality of Coyote Watch Canada.

Lesley Sampson, founder and Executive Director of Coyote Watch Canada, is an expert coyote tracker and runs dozens – if not hundreds – of investigations into coyote and wildlife behaviour in communities each year. She joined Defender Radio recently to talk about the process of investigating wildlife conflict, the need for public education in this time, and analysis of some recent wildlife conflict events across Canada.

May 17, 2015
Episode 228: Special Report: Unnatural Enemies
24:05

This special report episode has been rushed to post for you, our wonderful supporters, so that we can let you know about an incredible documentary airing on CTV and CTV2 in Alberta this Monday, May 18. Unnatural Enemies: The War on Wolves explores the incredibly controversial wolf killing taking place in Alberta. Wildlife experts, biologists, advocates, hunters and trappers are all included in 44-minute documentary, as well as historic data and current science on wolf populations and behaviour.

We’re very fortunate to have been granted an exclusive interview with the director and producer of the Pyramid Productions documentary, Geordie Day, who joined us to talk about the motivations of the film, the harsh realities facing wolves and why everyone in Canada should be watching.

May 16, 2015
Episode 227: Craving Compassion, Canada?
34:51

What do a Buddhist monk in Vancouver and the owner of a sanctuary farm in central Ontario have in common? Compassion. This week we’re talking with Shifu Zhihan, a teacher of Buddhism in Vancouver who’s helping to host Vesak 2015 For World Peace this Saturday, May 16. We’ll also connect with Brenda Bronfman the founder of Wishing Well Sanctuary in Bradford, Ontario.

With surprising similarities, Zhihan and Brenda spoke with Defender Radio about the role of animals in their lives, how they found their way to peace and compassion, and how they hope to leave the world a little more beautiful.

May 11, 2015
Episode 226: Join the revolution
01:04:17

Anger and frustration are common for us animal advocates. And this week we’re talking with someone who can help us by teaching us what questions we should be asking ourselves.

Deb Ozarko finished college and got a diploma in Design, Communications and Advertising. She worked in corporate and studio settings. Deb Ozarko completed an Ironman triathlon. Deb Ozarko was an aggressive, outspoken activist. And yet, none of these things are how Deb Ozarko defines herself today.

In an incredible journey from grief and anger to compassion and hope, Deb transformed her life. Her story – and the many things she learned in this lifelong lesson – are spoken of during her popular The Unplug Podcast, in her book the Status Quo Crusher and through her blog.

Deb Ozarko wants to see a revolution of love. And she joined Defender Radio to discuss her life lessons, plans and hopes with us in an in-depth and revealing interview.

May 03, 2015
Episode 225: Represent
30:06

After speaking on behalf of our members, supporters and all the fur-bearing animals of Canada as expert witnesses in a parliamentary committee last week, we wanted to share two important ways we can all represent for the animals.

We’ll hear from Camille Labchuk, animal rights lawyer extraordinaire and former Green Party candidate, to discuss the ins and outs of proportional representation – what it means for our country and how we can get fair representation in our parliamentary system.

Then we’ll talk with Kimberly Panzarella, owner and designer of FTLA Apparel, whose new line of Make Fur History shirts helps everyone represent the animals – and provide much needed support to The Fur-Bearers.

Apr 26, 2015
Episode 224: The Cowspiracy is real
26:29

With Earth Day on the horizon it makes sense to take a step back from fur-bearer-specific issues and look at a subject plaguing the entire planet. What’s interesting, however, is that this issue does, in fact, relate back to fur-bearing animals.

For this week’s episode, we connected with Keegan Cuhn, a co-director of the popular and incredible documentary Cowspiracy. In what begins as a simple flick about water use and sustainability, Keegan and co-director Kip quickly discover that there is a much, much larger problem in the use of life-giving water around the world: animal agriculture. This massive and powerful industry is responsible for an uncanny level of damage to our planet and, of course, our wildlife.

In this interview, Keegan explored the building of the film – from the personal journey to the stonewalling by massive non-profits and how it changed his life – and may change the world.

Apr 19, 2015
Episode 223: Spring feeding
25:10

On this week’s episode we’re focusing on two spring-related topics that come up every year – wildlife feeding and living with bears.

In almost every wildlife conflict situation we’ve studied, food is a central issue. Whether it’s intentionally feeding ungulates like deer or unintentionally feeding predatory animals like coyotes, the easiest and safest way to live with wildlife is to ensure we’re not feeding them. And Dr. Sara Dubois, the Chief Scientific Officer for the BC SPCA, has a plan – she wants to make wildlife feeding the new littering.

Being Bear Smart isn’t always something on our minds – but it certainly is easy to do once you understand the basics. Sylvia Dolson of the Get Bear Smart Society in Whistler, BC, joined Defender Radio to talk spring bears – what they’re up to, how they respond to us and what we can do to prevent conflict.

Apr 12, 2015
Episode 222: For the love of dog
52:23

They are our best friends, our family and our own personal heroes. Dogs have become an everyday part of life for millions of Canadians – from sharing our homes and time to our pillows and hearts. With so many people profiting from this companionship and our quest to perfect the relationships between ourselves and our pets, there’s sure to be some bad eggs – little dogs with big barks, as it were. And then, there are those who rely on modern science, coupled with compassion, to find the truth about dogs – and how we can live fulfilling lives for both us and our canine companions.

One such modern saviour of dog lovers is Jean Donaldson. Born in Montreal, has become known as a pre-emptive authority on dog training and behaviour through her ongoing study and growth both the practice and science of her trade. Jean joined Defender Radio for a special, 50-minute interview to talk dogs, the evolution of behaviour models from B.F. Skinner to Walt Disney and beyond, breaking through the media hype of certain celebrity trainers, and even took time to answer questions from our listeners and supporters.

Apr 05, 2015
Episode 221: Water world
28:34

Some 500 years ago, Leonardo Da Vinci said ‘water is the driving force of all nature.’ And today, that message needs to be spread.

Not only are our oceans the last frontier of Earth-based exploration, they – along with our lakes and rivers – are the basis of all life on the planet. And these water systems are at risk.

From drought in California to pollution of Canada’s Great Lakes, water is an important topic that needs to be addressed. And this week, we have two experts prepared to do just that.

On this episode we hear from Bill Pazert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), who has been studying the California drought – and the possible solutions available, from beavers to centralized management. Following that, we connect with Liat Podolsky, a staff biologist with EcoJustice, who are fighting to protect our lakes from a new threat – microbeads.

Mar 29, 2015
Episode 220: The Easter Bunny exposed!
28:15

As sure as eggs are being hidden by the Easter bunny in homes across the country this week, many parents are planning special gifts for their children – including bunnies. But these intelligent, beautiful animals require special care and a long-time commitment – much more so than many people understand. And that’s when the heroes at the Small Animal Rescue Society of BC get involved.

Founded in 2004, the volunteer-run group focus their efforts on the needs of small animals – ranging from bunnies and chinchillas to rats and hamsters. And they’ve got an important message this time of year: don’t give rabbits as gifts.

Lisa Hutcheon of the Small Animal Rescue Society of BC joined Defender Radio to talk rabbits, small animal rescue and how everyone can be a hero this Easter.

Mar 23, 2015
Episode 219: Respecting raccoons
30:35

We’re all about raccoons this week, now that spring is on the way – and some horrific news arose out of White Rock, British Columbia.

As the weather warms – albeit a little too slowly for some of us here in Ontario – the behaviour of our wild neighbours will also be changing. Primarily, they’ll be looking for safe places to raise their newborn family members. Raccoons and squirrels seem to like our homes – they are, after all, warm and safe. But the presence of raccoons and squirrels, including their young, can be a hazard for homeowners. Canada’s leading humane wildlife removal expert, Brad Gates, will join us to discuss the ins and outs of home safety with wildlife in the spring.

But it’s not all good news this week. As documented through our blogs and social media, a single raccoon caught in not one, but two leg-hold traps in the quiet city of White Rock, has created an outcry. Frank Goff, the man who first witnessed the suffering animal and brought it to the attention of the media, will join us to discuss what he saw – and what the future holds for wildlife in White Rock.

Mar 15, 2015
Episode 218: Badgering for change
20:31

Working to protect animals isn’t always a clear cut job – and sometimes, it’s things you’d least expect that require a bit of extra attention. This week we’re hearing from two individuals who are working on issues that aren’t as visible as many others.

First we’ll hear from Lucas Solowey, an advocate who works with The Fur-Bearers, who’s helping out coyotes by organizing a demonstration at a conference where a Canada Goose Executive is speaking this week.

Then we’ll turn it over to Gwen Barlee of The Wilderness Committee in British Columbia, who is working to put a true endangered species policy in place in the province that prides itself on eco-tourism.

Mar 08, 2015
Episode 217: The State of the Beaver
22:26

How do beavers revive watersheds and help combat climate change? Those were the questions poised to experts and advocates at the recent State of the Beaver conference in Oregon.

Hosted by the South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership, the 2015 State of the Beaver Conference brought together a slew of experts – from advocates to flow device experts like Mike Callahan and geography professors to in-the-field ecologists. Included in that lineup was Dr. Heidi Perryman, a friend of The Fur-Bearers and the advocate behind the Worth A Dam podcast and blog at MartinezBeavers.org.

Heidi joined Defender Radio to discuss the pressing issues presented at the conference, the lessons learned and what it all means for the future of beavers in North America and abroad.

Mar 01, 2015
Episode 216: March is coming in like a lion
31:46

March is gearing up to come in like a lion for the Fur-bearers. The ongoing attack on advocacy by the Harper government picked up last week with new claims in the House of Commons, leaked reports from the RCMP and the staggering introduction of bill C-51. But a lion-like March isn’t always bad news – we’re teaming up with a fantastic ethical business for a month-long fundraiser that’s sure to put a smile on your face.

This week we’ll hear from Camille Labchuk, one of Canada’s leading animal rights attorneys, who discusses everything from politics to terrorism laws and how we can each make a difference come election time. Following that, Shana Victor will connect with Defender Radio to talk about how her ethical business will be supporting The Fur-Bearers throughout the month of March – and how you can end up with beautiful jewellery, clothing and accessories while supporting the Fur-Bearers, too.

Feb 22, 2015
Episode 215: Making humane choices
27:26

Making humane choices can be difficult at times – but when you know where to look and what questions to ask, it can be surprisingly easy and satisfying. This week we’re talking with two individuals who have made significant strides in operating humane businesses and have also been stalwart supporters of The Fur-Bearers.

We’ll first hear from Brad Gates, owner of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. As an animal lover and honest businessman, Brad has done wonders for educating the public on humane wildlife removal and is leading the pack at reforming his own industry to be even better for the animals. Following Brad we’ll touch base with Alycia Gemoya-Allen, manager of a LUSH Cosmetics store in Indiana that had the largest success in the Make Fur History campaign last fall.

Feb 16, 2015
Episode 214: Unintended consequences
27:39

We regularly speak about the direct implications of actions against wildlife – from full on culls to the trapping and disruption of family units. But there is a lot more happening in our country that’s putting wildlife at risk, and not all of it is visible or obvious. This week we’re exploring the unintended consequences of human activities.

Secondary poisoning is a serious concern – and the Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia deals with it regularly. We’ll hear from Janelle _ who sees the consequences of poison used on rodents and how it impacts predatory birds and other animals.

The hot topic in the oil sands right now is the truly frightening tailings ponds and their potential consequences for the ecosystems they’re built in. We’ll be joined by Dale Marshall of Environmental Defence Canada, one of the leading organizations fighting to uncover the truth about these eco-bombs waiting to happen.

Feb 08, 2015
Episode 213: Finding compassion for canids
31:56

The news this year has all been about the cousins of our domestic dogs, wolves and coyotes.

Increased sightings of coyotes throughout areas of Ontario have caused a spike in complaints, heightened fear of predators and even lethal action. Our friends at Coyote Watch Canada, however, have been working non-stop since December to show the media the truth about coyotes and how we can live with them.

Further west, wolves are in the crosshairs in both Alberta and British Columbia as governments scramble to find ways to protect endangered caribou herds in both provinces. Even though science and public opinion is against them, the kills are well under way – and it’s coming down to wolf experts like Paul Paquet to speak out against them.

Feb 02, 2015
Episode 212: Dam Builders
30:33

From the name of a winter pastry to the back of our five cent piece, the beaver is everywhere in Canada. But few people know the true history of beavers – that they were nearly wiped out by trapping; that they play an integral role in our ecosystems; and that they are still trapped every day from coast-to-coast.

So this week we’re exploring the beaver in two very different but important ways.

First we’ll hear from University instructor, naturalist, photographer and author, Michael Runtz, about his new book - Dam Builders: The Natural History of Beavers and Their Ponds.

Then we’ll talk with Dian Murrell of the Alouette Valley Association, whose frustration with the beaver-trapping ways of her municipality led her to working with APFA to find non-lethal solutions to potential conflict.

Jan 19, 2015
Episode 211: Canada's failing grade
28:29

To start out the new year we’re taking a look at some serious news – Canada’s failing grade for animal welfare and protections.

Late last year, World Animal Protection unveiled their first ever API – or Animal Protection Index – an ingenious way of measuring individual nation’s efforts at protecting animals. Canada received a failing grade – lower than some third world countries – causing a media firestorm. Also late in 2014, the International Fund for Animal Welfare announced that Canada was failing to meet its international obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. This was incidentally timed with a study from Canadian scientists showing that our country's efforts to protect already at-risk or endangered species are critically failing.

Jan 11, 2015
Episode 210: Santa's going fur-free
10:15

As things started to wind down at the Fur-Bearers office last week, we received a surprising piece of mail.

The letter was addressed to Adrian Nelson, our Director of Communications. He wasn’t sure from whom the letter came, as the return label was only a postal code – H0H0H0. He later said that the letter also smelled faintly of candy canes and gingerbread, but didn’t think much of that.

Signatures that appeared to read S. Claus, M. Claus, R. Deer and F. Jingles were listed.

As a group, we discussed what this letter was. A trick from the trappers? A trap from the tricksters? A ruse by Prime Minister Harper (known universally to be on the naughty list)?

While the discussion went on, Defender Radio host Michael Howie decided to don his old investigative journalist hat and make a few phones calls. What you’'ll hear on this week's episode is the unedited recordings of the evidence collected with a few well-placed phone calls.

Dec 21, 2014
Episode 209: Bella's story
26:27

Last week we told you the story of Bella and the Pelley family of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador. Bella, a five-year-old lab mix, was caught in a terrifying leg-hold trap within the town limits while out for a walk with Peg Pelley and the family’s other dog, Whiskey. Bella damaged 17 of her teeth and severely bruised her paw why desperately trying to get free of the trap. A Good Samaritan was able to get Bella loose, and the Pelley family immediately sought out veterinary help.

To get the specialized dental care, Peg, her daughter Megan, and Bella had to travel to Montreal – hundreds of kilometres from their home. The night before the surgery, Peg spoke with Defender Radio about the harrowing ordeal, the treatment needed for Bella, and the support she has felt from both her local community and animal lovers across the country.

Dec 07, 2014
Episode 208: The times they are a changin'
24:53

It gets frustrating for us animal lovers – the apparent lack of change, the ongoing suffering. But the times, they really are a changing.

This week we’re talking with two people involved in the process of change. First is Mario Canseco of Insights West, who conducted a poll on Canadian’s attitudes about fur and is an expert on consumer behaviour.

Following Mario is Camille Labchuk, the animal rights attorney well-known by our supporters. In her work with Animal Justice, Camille has played an important role in the development and release of the Animal Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

Nov 30, 2014
Episode 207: Winter is coming
20:57

The weather last week across most of Canada sure was frightful – snow, sleet and icy winds let us know that winter had officially arrived. Even in Vancouver, where most of the APFA team is likely lounging about in swimwear, temperatures took a dip. Here in Southern Ontario we received several inches of snow and a whistling wind for days on end.

But while we were all huddled up in warm layers and heated homes, our fur-bearing friends weathered the storm without assistance. And that’s what we’re focusing on this week.

Brad Gates of AAA Gates’ Wildlife Control will discuss the changing temperatures – and how they influence the behaviour of wildlife in urban areas, and what that means for homeowners. Then we’ll hear from Linda Bakker of the Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia who will let us know what to look for in birds and other animals who may be injured as winter progresses.

Nov 23, 2014
Episode 206: History and future of the seal hunt
24:08

This week we’re diving into one of the most contentious issues of Canadian culture: the seal hunt. For a long time, the hunt was a necessary way of life for aboriginal peoples as well as those who sought fortune and subsistence on this land. But we contend that today it is unnecessary and cruel. To explore this issue with us, we were recently joined by Sheryl Fink, Director of Wildlife Campaigns for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

For more than a decade, Sheryl has worked on the seal hunt issue, which included witnessing and recording the hunt, working with international partners and developing strategies to bring it to an end.

Our conversation delved into the history of the hunt, the evolution of attitudes, the role the fur industry plays in the modern seal hunt, and what people can be doing to voice their concerns.

Nov 16, 2014
Episode 205: Who puts fur in fashion?
33:13

You’ve been hearing a lot about our #MakeFurHistory campaign in the last week and a half – and sharing it with your friends, family and neighbours. We’re seeing a huge influx of support as a result and can’t thank you all enough. This week we’re taking another look at the fur industry and why fur is still fashionable with a top designer, professor and blogger: Joshua Katcher.

Editor and founder of the Discerning Brute blog, designer of the Brave Gentleman fashion line and an adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons, Joshua is widely regarded as an expert on sustainable and humane fashion.

In a recent conversation with Defender Radio, Joshua not only touched on his background and interest in humane fashion, but looked at the history and evolution of fur, the cultural symbolism it continues to represent and how we might fight the fur industry by using their own tactics against them.

Nov 09, 2014
Episode 204: #MakeFurHistory
17:13

Late last week we unveiled our latest – and largest ever – campaign: Make Fur History. On this week’s episode of Defender Radio, we’ll be telling you more about the campaign, how it was developed and the realities facing mink and fox on today’s Canadian fur farms.

We'll hear from Tricia Stevens of LUSH Cosmetics on why the international make up company decided to get behind the campaign.

One of our partner agencies, the Montreal SPCA, has done intensive work looking at the legislation surrounding animals on fur farms and what it means in the big picture. Alanna Devine of the Montreal SPCA will speak about this unsettling issue.

To learn more about the #MakeFurHistory campaign, please visit www.MakeFurHistory.com and take the pledge, share with your friends and help us make fur history.

Nov 03, 2014
Episode 203: Living With Wildlife Highlights Part 2
19:29

The Living With Wildlife 2014 conference was a resounding success! Nearly 100 guests and speakers arrived at the Holiday Inn Carlton in Toronto on October 17 for a day of seminars, education and networking.

Topics of the day covered everything from animal laws to rehabilitation of bears, and municipal wildlife strategies to living with coyotes.

In this week's episode of Defender Radio we're bringing you highlights from two of our speakers: Donna Doyle of the Town of Oakville, who explained the importance of a municipal wildlife strategy, and Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us Rehabilitation and Sanctuary, who detailed the vital need to understand bear language and how we can peacefully live among them.

Oct 27, 2014
Episode 202: Living With Wildlife Highlights Part 1
25:53

The Living With Wildlife 2014 conference was a resounding success! Nearly 100 guests and speakers arrived at the Holiday Inn Carlton in Toronto on October 17 for a day of seminars, education and networking.

Topics of the day covered everything from animal laws to rehabilitation of bears, and municipal wildlife strategies to living with coyotes.

In this week's episode of Defender Radio we're bringing you highlights from two of our speakers: Erin McCance, who discussed white-tailed deer and urban management issues in Winnipeg, and Brad Gates of AAA Gates Wildlife Control, who entertained and educated the group with discussions of wildlife proofing homes.

 

Oct 23, 2014
Episode 201: Rewilding Our Hearts
35:23

We can barely believe it’s been a full year since this project first started. In that year we’ve had dozens of interviews with internationally-recognized scientists and advocates. We’re heard one-on-one interviews with those who have witnessed tragedy and those who have stopped cruelty. We’ve worked with great people Psychologist and beaver believer Dr. Heidi Perryman, rock star and animal lover Bif Naked, photographer Jo-Anne McArthur and Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada. We’ve talked about issues ranging from wolf ecosystem protection and the natural history of beavers to keeping squirrels out of attics and how to talk about co-existence with your schools. And through it all, we’ve had you, our incredible supporters, listening in.

And what better way to start Season Two of Defender Radio than with two of our absolute favourite guests?

We’ll be hearing from Brad Gates, owner of AAA Gates Wildlife Control on raccoons in Toronto – why they’re here and how we can live alongside them, as well as Dr. Marc Bekoff, discussing his upcoming book, Rewildling Our Hearts.

Let’s get started with season two!

Oct 13, 2014
Episode 150: Living With Wildlife Preview
22:06

It’s been a long week for us at APFA – the celebration we were having over the RCMP’s decision to ditch their muskrat fur hats for their regular cold weather uniform was brought to an abrupt halt. The Conservative government stated they would overturn the decision in order to protect the fur industry.

You’ll hear more about this from one of our guests this week, but to get the details and sign the petition asking the government to honour the RCMP’s decision, check out FurBearerDefenders.com or visit us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FurFree or Twitter with @FurBearers

In addition to the media hoopla caused by the government’s decision, we’re also busy getting ready for the 2014 Living With Wildlife conference in Toronto. And this week, we’re bringing you interviews from two of our speakers.

Camille Labchuk, a former Green Party candidate and animal rights lawyer, will be presenting at the conference on October 17. She recently joined us to talk about her work using the law for the animals, as well as how she’s fighting the government’s overruling of the RCMP decision.

Following Camille will be Donna Doyle of the Town of Oakville’s Environmental Policy department. Donna has played a vital role in the development of a wildlife plan, an environmental plan and most recently a road ecology plan, leading the Town of Oakville to a higher standard of living for animals.

Oct 05, 2014
Episode 149: Protecting wolves on the prairies
37:15

The shocking news out of Saskatchewan that an additional 100 permits for hunting and trapping wolves in Wildlife Management Zone 49 made a splash across our social media platforms last week. In our blog, we told you that the Ministry of Environment is responding to an alleged increase in livestock predation from wolves and that population control was their only choice.

We disagreed.

We have long stated that co-existence is possible – be it with coyotes and raccoons in downtown Toronto or bears and wolves in rural Alberta. And this week, we’re bringing you two experts who will help us with that argument.

Louise Liebenberg, owner of The Graziere ranch in Alberta, will chat with us about Livestock Guardian Dogs – one of the oldest co-existence methods around, dating back hundreds of years in Eastern Europe. We’ll also hear from wolf expert Sadie Parr of WolfAwarenessInc.org about the realities of culling wolves and the implications it has for the ecosystem, as well the governments and landowners who stand behind the guns and traps.

Sep 20, 2014
Episode 148: Back to school, week 2
28:44

We’re continuing our back to school series – focusing this week on the two-legged young who are eager to learn.

This week we’re happy to bring you two top humane educators. First up is Zoe Weil, co-founder and president of The Institute for Humane Education, who will share her thoughts on the importance of humane education in homes and classrooms, as well as the best way to get teachers on board with the rapidly growing demand for such lessons.

Following Zoe is Paula Neuman, Manager of Humane Education for the BC SPCA, who will talk about the success the west coast organization has had in teaching children – some of whom are today staff at the BC SPCA – what it means to be compassionate.

We know that many parents in British Columbia are struggling with keeping their children busy – and entertained – during a prolonged labour dispute between teachers and the province. We’re happy to inform you that our own lesson plans – with content ranging from K to 12 – is available to freely download at FurBEarerDefenders.com. These lessons can serve as a great way to keep your children thinking and learning while awaiting their return to the classroom.

 

Sep 14, 2014
Episode 147: Going back to school
31:28

Education is part of the foundation of a solid democracy, and in Canada we take that responsibility quite seriously. We have some of the best elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools in the world – and millions of young Canadians are back to the books this week. But every day we have important lessons to learn outside the classroom, as well.

This week we’re taking a look at two different – and equally important – types of education.

We’ll be joined by Tyler Jamieson, an Ottawa-area advocate who last year ran a series of successful demonstrations promoting the fur-free message at college and university campuses. Then we’ll hear from Coyote Watch Canada’s Lesley Sampson who will tell us how coyotes are going back to school, too.

 

Sep 08, 2014
Episode 146: Quebec's fur farm nightmare
25:35

It’s been a long summer for those of us in the fight against the fur lobby – particularly after the events at a Quebec fur farm. The Montreal SPCA is in a battle of political will and legislative authority with the province’s Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks who have not acted on allegations of neglect and cruelty.

To bring us up to date on the investigation of the Quebec fur farm, the report and concerns of wildlife experts and veterinarians, and the possibilioty of legal action against the provincial government is Montreal SPCA spokesperson Sophie Gaillard.

We also have a special feature on this week's episode: behind the fur industry spin, breaking down a media interview from the Fur Council of Canada.

Aug 31, 2014
Episode 145: The emotional lives of advocates
34:07

As animal advocates, we often feel frustrated, despondent and outright angry at the world around us – and that’s a healthy, normal response. But sometimes those feelings can overwhelm us and influence our ability to help wild life and be happy, healthy individuals.

You may know Dr. Heidi Perryman as the beaver believer from Martinez, California, or the defender who hosts the MartinezBeavers.org Worth a Dam website and podcast series. But between her evenings of working with municipalities, landowners and the general public on beaver protection, she’s a successful clinical psychologist.

Dr. Perryman joined Defender Radio for a unique conversation on these emotions, what they mean to us and how we can manage them in our day-to-day lives as advocates.

Aug 24, 2014
Episode 144: The Calgary beaver tale
30:57

In recent weeks you’ve seen us on the news, read about us in newspapers and heard us on the radio talking about beavers and trapping in Calgary. Now we’re bringing the story back to the woman who started it.

In mid-July, Linda Lelonde and her husband were walking in a park when they came across a beaver, later discovered to be caught in an allegedly humane Conibear trap. The trauma of the event shook Linda – and the entire animal-loving community of Calgary. With her compassion and perseverance, the issue became a major talking point in the city. APFA got involved, offering our assistance in building and installing flow devices so that beaver trapping in the city could end.

We finally caught up with Linda last week and are now bringing you her own account of the incident, what has happened since that fateful day and where she hopes to see the City of Calgary’s beaver management program end.

Aug 18, 2014
Episode 143: Algonquin coywolf goes home
22:09

In late January 2014, Paula Tough had been out with a friend and their dogs near Algonquin Park when they came across what appeared to be a wolf caught in a snare. The wire had cut into the animals’ leg deeply, and the nearby damage and scat showed he had been caught for at least three or four days.

Paula took extraordinary action – with the help of a friend, she was able to cut the snare, load the animal into a crate and drive it straight down to Aspen Valley Wildlife Centre.

The initial outlook was not good for the animal, who was eventually discovered to be a young Algonquin coywolf. His leg had to be amputated due to the severity of the injury.

But with the hard work of volunteers and staff at Aspen Valley, as well as a whole lot of guts on the part of the coywolf, he was successfully released in the first week of August.

Julie Woodyer of Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary joined Defender Radio to discuss the rehabilitation of the coywolf, his release, and what it means for the future of injured wildlife.

Aug 10, 2014
Episode 142: Five Elephants
28:04

Once upon a time, Rob Laidlaw was a young man who wanted to protect animals. Today, Rob has become an animal advocacy powerhouse as the head of Zoocheck Canada, frequent speaker, and most recently, author of a series of best-selling and award-winning children’s books.

Titles such as No Shelter Here and Saving Lives and Changing Hearts have won multiple awards, been translated into numerous languages and hit the shelves of schools and libraries from coast to coast. It has also catapulted Rob’s career in a direction he never expected.

To celebrate the release of his latest book, 5 Elephants, Rob joined Defender Radio to talk about the path that led him to becoming a best-selling children’s book author, learning how to be an advocate and what young people – as well as their parents – can be doing to better the lives of animals around the world.

Aug 04, 2014
Episode 141: In the trenches of wildlife rehab
26:56

As summer is coming to its peak, so are the thousands of wild babies from coast to coast. While APFA works hard to protect them through education, advocacy, by-laws and policy, much effort is still needed on the front lines. And those who stand in the trenches are wildlife rehabilitators.

In Burnaby, BC, the Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia takes in several thousand injured, orphaned or sick wild animals every year. Their team of rehabilitators work tirelessly to provide care, comfort and a second chance for animals who have been wrongly injured or taken from their homes.

This week, we’re hearing from two staffers of the WRA – Karen Becker, a wildlife rehabilitator, as well as Yolanda Brooks, Communications Manager. The two sides – front office and back care rooms – will be explored in these interviews.

Jul 27, 2014
Episode 140: Grizzlies and the Heiltsuk people
27:08

On the central coast of British Columbia sits the traditional lands of the Heiltsuk First Nations people. In their language, Heiltsuk means to speak and act correctly, and this concept is an important part of their culture. The Qqs (pronounced Kuks, meaning eyes) Projects society was formed to support Heiltsuk youth, culture and environment and ensure a vibrant, strong future for the people. As part of this, the Qqs Projects Society joined with major academics from across North America to launch a study of the grizzly bears that call the Koeye River home, or at least a popular feeding ground in the right season.

Protecting these bears and their habitat is of vital importance to the Heiltsuk First Nations. We were recently joined by William Housty, a Director of the Qqs Project Society who is noted as having an unparalled knowledge of Heiltsuk stories, songs and ceremonies – as well as a degree in environmental sciences.

To learn more about William Housty, the Qqs Project Society or the Heiltsuk First Nations, visit Qqsprojects.org.

 

Jul 20, 2014
Episode 139: Getting footloose in Montana
48:36

We in Canada may look upon Montana as the last vestige of the wild west – and in many ways, it is. Ranchers, landowner’s rights and the old American west live on in the Northern state. But not everyone wants to hold onto every bit of that tradition.

Montana is filled with trappers and their cruel devices. Standing against them is Footloose Montana, a registered charity that is looking to end the reign of terror trappers leave in their wake. From hosting trap-release seminars to beginning legal action, Footloose Montana is doing what they can to combat trapping.

Joining us this week is the new executive director of Footloose Montana, Christopher Justice, who will share the group’s vision of a trap-free Montana.

Jul 14, 2014
Episode 138: The wolf effect
39:23

Perhaps the most mystic – and most feared – wildlife in Canada, wolves are making a comeback. Throughout the western United States, wolf populations are beginning to re-emerge after a courageous plan to reintroduce them to Yellowstone National Park in the 1990s. But along with their reintroduction has come ongoing fear, paranoia from ranchers and the happy trigger fingers of hunters and trappers.

Add that to the ongoing persecution of wolves in Canada and the species is by no means free of their one-time endangered status.

But this has also created a unique and historic opportunity to study wolves and how they affect ecosystems. Two recent studies have identified and are extrapolating what is becoming known as The Wolf Effect.

We’ll hear from two leading scientists who have examined this phenomenon; first is Dr. Thomas Newsome, who has worked with a team that is exploring how wolf populations affect the populations of foxes and coyotes. Then we’ll be joined by Dr. Mark Elbroch, who is part of one of the longest-standing cougar studies in North America and has fascinating details on how wolves are impacting cougar populations and territory selection.

Jul 06, 2014
Episode 137: The best of the beavers
44:37

It's our Canada Day special!

To celebrate the 147th birthday of our great nation, we’re bringing you the best of beavers from Defender Radio’s first season.

You’ll hear from some world-renowned experts, film makers and even some of APFA’s own staffers in this look back, along with a couple of new clips from our friends who love beavers, too.

Jun 29, 2014
Episode 136: Interpeting intelligence
30:19

Intelligence means different things to different people. To an anthrozoologist or biologist, it can be the measurement of intellect or sentience in a living being. To someone in law enforcement, it’s the product of analyzed data. And both versions are what we’re discussing on this week’s episode.

Andrea Crosta, a security expert who has worked with the likes of Homeland Security, has taken his experience and changed his focus to the illegal wildlife trade. Head of the Elephant Action League, Crosta recently opened the floodgates on WildLeaks – a crime fighting tool to protect the people and animals involved in the illegal trade worldwide.

Our good friend and internationally-renowned animal expert Dr. Marc Bekoff says that all animals live emotional lives – even crayfish. A recent study shows that crayfish, a low-order invertebrate, has the same chemical reaction to stimuli and serotonin as humans. The implications of this are profound – and Marc will share his thoughts.

Jun 22, 2014
Episode 135: The quest for understanding
25:22

Every day, life happens around us: from viruses multiplying to humans launching rockets into space - the need for growth forces change. Yet despite these clearly understood needs, we often have difficulty understanding the millions of lives surrounding our own.

The quest to understand what animals think and feel is one that may never be complete; but there are ways for us to understand what motivates them and why it is important to work to ensure their protection.

On the west coast, thousands of people are working to protect grizzly bears – apex predators essential to the survival of ecosystems. Included in those ranks are professional bear guides from the Coastal First Nations who want hunters to take a shot – but with cameras instead of guns. We’ll be joined by expert bear guide Douglas Neasloss who explains what the Great Bear Initiative means and how it may save the bears of the west coast.

Out east, tragedy struck Moncton as three RCMP officers were killed and others injured when a madman opened fire upon them. As the case unravelled, the suspect was caught and will face justice. From that story, however, erupted heart-wrenching photos of a police service dog, Danny, whose partner Constable David Ross was killed in the gunfire. We’ll speak with Yvette Van Veen, a dog behaviourist and science-based trainer to try and understand what emotions Danny may or may not have felt when the iconic photos of him sniffing his partner’s Stetson were snapped.

Jun 16, 2014
Episode 134: Become a beaver believer
31:29

We’re celebrating beavers this week and asking you to become a beaver believer.

We’re happy to bring you two great beaver stories. First up is Simon Jones of the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Simon joined us from across the pond to talk about the reintroduction of Eurasian beavers to an area of Scotland after a 300-year absence.

We’ll also be talking with Sarah Koenigsberg, who is producing and crowd-sourcing a film about beavers and their role in ecosystems and climate change. The film is aptly titled, Beaver Believers.

An update on our 2014 Ontario Beaver Tour is also to be heard on this episode.

 

Jun 09, 2014
Marcy Mania
19:03

We’re all about Marcy this week. Marcy Potter is our newest team member at APFA, our Office and Database Administrator.

She is an animal advocate, trained rehabilitator and an absolute machine at organizing our office, our databases and, frankly, all of us.

Marcy joined Defender Radio recently to talk about her past, her future and what people need to know about finding wildlife near their homes.

Jun 02, 2014
Episode 132: Victories for one and all
48:55

This week we’re celebrating victories across North America.

We’ll hear from Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare who will explain why the World Trade Organization upheld a European Union ban on the importation of Canadian seal products – and what that means for Canada and our seals.

Then we’ll be talking with Tara Zuardo of the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C., who will share her experiences protecting North Carolina’s red wolves from coyote hunters.

We're also thanking sponsors from two recent events - one in Calgary (Celebration of Wildlife:photographers Jason Bantle, John Marriott and Kerri Martin, along with Alberta Skydivers and White Lotus Jewellery) and one in Vancouver (Discover Dogs presents a Fur-Bearer Mingler: artists Adelle Airey, Vicki Lynn Rae, Tracey Tomtene, Jesse Toso and Rod Preston as well as thank Discover Dogs, the Vancouver Canadians, Just Beef and Nothing But, The Honest Kitchen and Zimt Artisan Chocolates).

 

May 24, 2014
Episode 131: Celebrating co-existence
23:34

For nearly 80 years, The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals has tried to find ways to stop the use of fur and end trapping. While many of our traditional methods – letter-writing, campaigning, advertising and others – have worked well in many areas, our co-existence program has yielded the greatest results.

The concept of co-existence stems from understanding the wildlife in an ecosystem and finding steps that can help prevent conflict. This week, we’re hearing from two experts.

First up is Adrian Nelson, my colleague at APFA who is also our urban wildlife conflict manager. For the last several years, Adrian has headed up our Living With Wildlife beavers campaign to great success – and he’ll be sharing how the program works and what you can do to get involved.

Following Adrian will be Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer at the BC SPCA who will discuss a recent study out of Africa illustrating that not only is co-existence better for the environment and animals, but better for the economy.

May 20, 2014
Episode 130: Ontario's orphans
29:18

The Ontario spring bear hunt has begun. After a long battle, advocates have been unable to reverse the government’s vote-grabbing plan to open up the hunt, which was closed more than a decade ago. The reason the hunt was ended was simple:  bear cubs were being orphaned by the hundreds. But in a desperate bid to please northern voters, Minister of Natural Resources David Orazietti ignored his own department’s scientific reports and launched a pilot project of the hunt, which began on May 1.

In past episodes, we’ve learned why the original hunt was cancelled and what the possible repercussions could be if it was reinstated. Now we’re learning what is being done to prepare for those repercussions.

We’ll be hearing from Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us Sanctuary, where many bear cubs – if found in time – will go to be rehabilitated, raised and eventually released into the wild. We’ll then talk with Julie Woodyer from Zoocheck Canada, who is part of an initiative to encourage residents of Northern Ontario to report orphaned cubs so that they have a better chance of survival.

May 11, 2014
Episode 129: The Ghosts, one year later
27:14

One year ago a small budget documentary was premiered at the HotDocs film festival in Toronto. The film followed the journey of a photographer – Jo-Anne McArthur – as she explored the exploitation of animals in modern society.

In the year that passed, The Ghosts in Our Machine has become a staple in the work of advocates everywhere. With harrowing – yet not gruesome - scenes inside factory farms and fur farms, Ghosts is a powerful yet palatable look into a world many try to ignore. 

To celebrate this one year landmark and the release of The Ghosts on DVD and the iTunes Store, Jo-Anne McArthur joined Defender Radio for a candid conversation.

May 04, 2014
Episode 128: Special Edition - Celebration of Wildlife
25:45

On April 12, APFA converged on Calgary, Alberta to host A Celebration of Wildlife. Nearly 100 wildlife lovers joined us at the Hotel Alma at the University of Calgary for this half-day event, which featured experts from across the province.

Included in that list was Predator-Friendly Rancher Louise Liebenberg and the University of Calgary’s Dr. Shelley Alexander.

In this week’s Special Report we’re bringing you highlights from the presentations of these two leaders.

More from the event can be found on the Celebration of Wildlife page, including videos, by clicking here.

Apr 27, 2014
Episode 127: Getting (humanely) educated
32:28

This week we’re continuing to look at the subject of humane education with one of the biggest names in the business: Zoe Weil of the Institute for Humane Education.

The co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, Zoe is an award-winning author of six books, educator and speaker. She designed the graduate certificate programs for the Institute of Humane Education and is noted by many as a leader in the field of animal welfare and education.

We recently spoke with Zoe about her work at the Institute of Humane Education, the importance of humane education in today’s world, and how it can improve not just animal welfare, but the quality of life for everyone.

 

Apr 11, 2014
Episode 126: A brief history of humane education
29:42

This week’s episode is the first of many to come that will focus on a subject of the utmost importance to us – humane education.

Compassion and respect for animals is something that is taught and learned. The lessons we all have learned on our own journeys to understanding stem from somewhere, be it classrooms, books, movies or even podcasts like this one. In episodes throughout the coming months, we will be taking a look at how humane education can grow, impact our society and why it matters.

To kick off this ongoing theme we’re taking an adventure to the past. The National Museum of Animals and Society opened their doors last year in Los Angeles California. Executive Director and Founder Carolyn Mullin will speak to the history of the museum, its foundations and how it will help create a more humane world.

We’ll also be hearing from Dr. Keri Cronin, a professor of visual arts and art history at Brock University. Dr. Cronin is the curator of an online exhibit at the National Museum of Animals and Society titled Be Kind: A Visual History of Humane Education 1880 to 1945. Dr. Cronin will explain the significance of this exhibit, as well as her own path to discovering the history of humane education.

Apr 07, 2014
Episode 125: The Missing Wolf Management Plan
39:24

A hot topic these days is the BC government’s wolf management plan. Or, more particularly, it’s the lack of information about the plan.

This week we’ll hear from two people who have followed this story closely. Up first is Andrew MacLeod, a reporter with online news magazine The Tyee. Andrew filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests with the BC government to find the facts behind the wolf management plan – and was shut down repeatedly. Then we’ll talk with Sadie Parr, the advocate behind Just Beings, who has numerous projects in British Columbia and western Canada and works towards understanding and coexistence with wolves.

Please remember while you listen to this episode that the government has still not released their plan and many questions remain unanswered.

Mar 31, 2014
Episode 124: It's time to tell a friend
27:55

We’re always trying to discover new ways to spread our message – whether it’s to go fur-free, coexist or simply be more compassionate. This week we’re chatting with two people who are working toward similar goals with different approaches.

We’ll hear from Kim Elmslie, Communications and Advocacy Manager for The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, who will chat with us about their upcoming National Animal Welfare Conference in Toronto.

Then we’ll talk with recording artist Gaiaisi, a supporter who was inspired by one of our campaigns and wrote a song – for which he also created a music video – about the fur industry. Recently it was added to Upworthy and is quickly gaining popularity.

Mar 23, 2014
Episode 123: Animal Advocacy Camp 2014
18:01

Animal Advocacy Camp is a two-day 'un-conference' that will bring together advocates of all volitions to support, share and learn together on March 22 and 23.

In episode 123, Defender Radio interviews Animal Advocacy Camp host Glenn Gaetz, who explains how he developed the conference, who will be speaking and what guests can expect. We also hear from Sara Dubois of the BC SPCA, who is slated as a speaker at the conference. Sara will explore her new position of Chief Scientific Officer at the BC SPCA and give our audience an idea of what she will be presenting during her time at the conference.

APFA is a proud supporter of Animal Advocacy Camp and encourages all our members to attend if they're available. To learn more about the event, visit animaladvocacycamp.ca.

Mar 16, 2014
Episode 122: Slapping down SLAPP suits
27:55

This week we’re taking a break from wildlife news to bring you information on a disease spreading from coast to coast to coast in our great nation. SLAPP suits.

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation are plaguing traditional and new media and stand as major threat to freedom of speech and all social movements.

We have two guests who will help us bring awareness about this disturbing legal trend. Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association will discuss the ins and outs of SLAPP suits from a legal point of view and Dylan Powell of Marineland Animal Defense will share his story of facing a multi-million dollar suit and how supporters can help fight back.

Mar 03, 2014
Episode 121: Conservation conversations
20:02

We’re going to be focusing on conservation this week, taking a look at two areas that are of regular interest and importance to us and our membership.

First up in our interviews is Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck Canada, who will take us through a discourse of the role zoos play in species conservation following a report on The Public Library of Science indicating that zoos just aren’t doing their part. Then we’ll be hearing from Heidi Perryman of the Give A Dam website who will be telling us how beavers she helped to protect in Martinez, California nearly a decade ago are now keeping an entire ecosystem thriving while the rest of the state suffers through drought conditions.

Feb 24, 2014
Episode 120: Protecting our predators
36:37

This week’ we’re focusing on predators with two internationally-recognized scientists, Dr. John Laundre of Oswego University in New York and Dr. Euan Ritchie of Deakin University in Australia. Between these two professors, the clear case for protecting predators not just at home, but around the world, will be made clear and our listeners will learn what they can do to help.

We'll also update you on our first advertising campaign of 2014.

 

Feb 17, 2014
Episode 119: The right to bear
29:06

This week we’re taking a look at bears, with interviews outlining two different and unfortunate circumstances.

First, Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation joins Defender Radio to update us on the return of the Ontario spring bear hunt, what it means for bears in the province and what every single one of us can do. Following that, we’ll hear from Bev McMullen, a photographer who was both eyewitness and ultimately the avenger of a bear who was beaten to near-death with a rock in Northern Ontario. The bear was later found, unfortunately deceased. But thanks to the photographs Bev was able to snap, a man is now facing charges.

We’ll also be joined by Brad Gates of Gates Wildlife Control to answer one of the most common questions raised during wildlife conflict in the home.

 

Feb 10, 2014
Episode 118: Special Report
17:38

This week, we’re taking a look at a single incident which has captured the eyes of the world: a wolf whose leg was caught and nearly severed by a legal snare in northern Ontario. Paula Tough, a resident in a small town north of Huntsville and bordering Algonquin Park, came across the wolf, who was severely injured and in a snare. While many others passed by and did nothing, Paula refused to give up; she went home and got supplies to free and transport the female wolf and assisted in getting her into the care of Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

The story first came to light in a local paper. When APFA was contacted by Paula, we posted a blog. That blog has now been read thousands of times and shared around the world.

Paula, a registered nurse and mother, joins us now to share her harrowing tale.

Feb 02, 2014
Episode 117: Learning how to howl
41:07

It may be warm and sunny on the west coast, but throughout much of Canada and the United States it’s howling cold – so we’re taking this opportunity to make a bad pun and bring you an episode exploring our relationships with coyotes.

We have interviews with some great experts this week, including Phil Carter of Animal Protection of New Mexico; Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada; and Professor Sara Waller from the University of Montana. We’ll also be presenting a new segment of wild in the city with Brad Gates of Gates Wildlife Control.

We're also proud to bring you news of our recent trip to Cornwall, Ontario.

Jan 26, 2014
Episode 116: One voice, one change
41:15

At APFA we spend a lot of time behind the scenes, working with municipalities, providing literature to other groups and individuals and being animal advocacy ninjas, in general. Sometimes it feels like our work is a little underwhelming – we don’t have huge victories to celebrate, as the political machines of Canada are slow to move. But every day we do see change – big and small – and it’s time for us to celebrate that. This week we’re speaking with some friends, supporters and partners who have affected real change in the world around them and hope that it will serve as a reminder that every single voice can create change. Joining us this week are Jasmin and Mariann from Our Hen House; Danielle Legg, whose petition convinced Willie Nelson to cancel his SeaWorld show; Jasmine Polsinelli, whose anti fur campaign saw real results; and Sarah, a long-time member whose discovery of fur in the workplace led to a success.

Jan 19, 2014
Episode 115: Fur Free Forever
43:55

Being fur free can be easy, but it isn't always, if you don't have the right information. This week, Defender Radio is bringing you three industry-experts that play a role in our fur free world. Brandon Forder, VP of Canadian Pet Connection, who thoroughly investigates all toys to ensure they are fur free and meet his personal ethics; Kemp Edwards, owner of Ethical Profiling, who provides ethically-sourced and cruelty-free products to clients, ranging from clothing to office supplies to trade show giveaways; and Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart, owner of Vaute Couture, whose fur-free fashion line has been a favourite of advocates the world over.

Jan 11, 2014
Episode 114: Best of 2013, Part II
57:15

APFA is getting ready for 2014 - we're prepping all kinds of great messaging, fundraising, literature and campaigns. To get you through the next two weeks we're bringing you the best of Defender Radio 2013. Please sit back and enjoy these interviews with Brad Gates of Gates' Wildlife Control, Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us Rehab and Sanctuary, and Dr. Carrie Packwood Freeman.

Jan 06, 2014
Episode 113: Best of 2013, Part I
49:21

APFA is getting ready to go full strenght in 2014, and we're bringing you some of our favourite interviews from 2013. Please sit back and enjoy these chats with Dr. Aysha Akhtar, Brad Gates of Gates' Wildlife Control and Bif Naked.

Dec 30, 2013
Episode 112: Christmas Special
32:49

This week we’re celebrating the Christmas season with our good friend Brad Gates of AAA Gates’ Wildlife Control, APFA Board President Irene Griswold, Canadian Pet Connection Vice President Brandon Forder and some tips on saying no to furry gifts from some of the retail industry’s leading experts.

Dec 22, 2013
Episode 111: Deer? Oh, dear...
42:40

Be it the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario, provincial parks in Alberta or Oak Bay in British Columbia, people are killing deer. It’s not for sustenance; it’s for an alleged overpopulation. Defender Radio this week is focused on the subject of deer culls and coexistence strategies, with interviews from Liz White of Animal Alliance of Canada, Rick Kubian of Parks Canada and Sara Dubois from the BC SPCA.

Dec 16, 2013
Episode 110: Leave it to beaver
34:01

Margaret Atwood once said that Canada was built on dead beavers. She couldn’t have been more right. Since the time of first contact, beavers have been persecuted for their fur and out of fear of their ingenious engineering skills. But the tide is changing: municipalities, homeowners and even businesses are recognizing there are better solutions available for preventing beaver conflicts and they’re recognizing the ecological benefits beavers present.

In this week’s episode we speak with our own Adrian Nelson, Director of Communications at APFA, who is our in-house beaver expert and lead on our beaver coexistence program; Dr. Heidi Perryman, the woman behind MartinezBeavers.org; and Mike Callahan, owner of Beaver Solutions in Massachusetts.

Dec 08, 2013
Episode 109: Something to talk about
46:10

Talking about wildlife and animal welfare isn’t always enough; we have to do it effectively. Whether it’s working with the government, getting through to the media, or helping others get through the media spin, communicating effectively is paramount. In this week’s episode of Defender Radio, we’ve brought together a collection of experts to help us do just that.

Mario Conseco of Insights West research shares the remarkable data from a recent poll of British Columbians that could help turn the tide of the government’s attitude about trapping. Professor Carrie Peckwood Freeman shares the lessons a career in communications has left her about the media, as well as her paper, ‘Giving Voice to the Voiceless.’ And IFAW’s seal hunt expert, Sheryl Fink, gives a brief history of the exploitative hunt, the importance of the recent WTO decision on the EU ban of seal products and how the media is being fed a government and industry spin on the story.

Dec 01, 2013
Episode 108: Teamwork
31:56

As an organization we seek to promote the protection of fur-bearing animals. But we can’t do it alone. We partner with volunteers, donors, private companies and municipalities regularly to bring forward our vision. This week, we’re taking a look at the partnerships that make all of our work possible. We’ll be hearing from Brad Gates, owner of Gates’ Wildlife Control, who forms a partnership with every community, humane group and client he meets; Tricia Stevens of LUSH Cosmetics, who will share the story of the philanthropic company and highlight the teamwork APFA has accomplished with their assistance; and Fred Pattje, a Councillor in Nanaimo, who has helped to bring an end to trapping in his community.

Nov 24, 2013
Episode 107: Spring bear hunt
37:54

Misinformation and lobbying has resulted in the return of Ontario’s spring bear hunt. The hunt was originally cancelled in 1999 after science and reports from the Ministry of Natural Resources showed no results in preventing nuisance bear calls and led to the known orphaning of over 270 cubs. But it seems politicians have short memories – or are desperate for votes. APFA, in conjunction with several other animal advocacy groups, are standing strongly against this hunt, noting that it will not solve any nuisance problems, that it will result in the orphaning of cubs, and that the baiting and hunting of bears is an unsafe practice.

In this week’s edition of Defender Radio, we are focused on this subject, bringing you two interviews with Mike McIntosh, President of Bear With Us Rehabilitation and Sanctuary, opinions from host Michael Howie on the media portrayal of the bear hunt, and expert analysis of a recent poll done by Paul Seccaspina of OraclePoll Research.

Nov 17, 2013
Episode 106: On the books
40:12

The written word is powerful. Be it a collection of ideas, a policy or a dire warning, words can change the world. In this week’s episode of Defender Radio, we bring to you interviews with Toronto City Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who updated city policy to protect coyotes; Dr. Aysha Akthar, a medical doctor who has written a book warning the world of the consequences of continuing to abuse animals; and Dr. Marc Bekoff, who recently released a collection of his popular Psychology Today essays in a new book.

Nov 12, 2013
Episode 105: Searching for solutions
44:21

Whether it’s a cull, mistreatment of wildlife or environmentally unsafe decisions, we need to make our voices heard. But sometimes, it’s just as important to offer an alternative solution to address whatever potential problem exists.

On this week’s Defender Radio, we spoke with Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck, who works with municipalities, zoos and aquariums to benefit the welfare of wild animals in captivity; Brad Gates of Gates’ Wildlife Control, whose business is not only based on humane care for wildlife, but on the health and safety of his employees and homeowners; and APFA’s own Adrian Nelson, who has successfully been providing coexistence solutions for managing beavers for more than four years.

Nov 03, 2013
Episode 104: Hope
42:12

Advocates are exposed to horrendous truths. Injured, abused, neglected and tortured animals become a part of a daily routine for those seeking justice and coexistence. It can wear down even the strongest willed, threaten the spirit of the most determined. But there is always hope.

This week we speak with Tyler Jamieson, who organized a group of advocates in Ottawa to spread the message of going fur free; dog rescuer and counsellor Darlene Grady-Lunn, who explores the emotional risks of advocacy and how hope can be found; Kelli Polsinelli, operator of Wild Earth Refuge, who creates hope for injured animals; and rock star Bif Naked, who despite personal hardships, continues to believe in a better future for humans and non-human animals alike.

Oct 27, 2013
Episode 103: The Bear Truth
39:10

Getting through the spin in marketing and media isn’t always easy. But with this week’s group of experts, we’re hoping to give you a helping hand. Talking about the history and realities – not the hunters’ spin – of the spring bear hunt in Ontario and its proposed return is Liz White of Animal Alliance of Canada. Brad Gates, owner of Gates Wildlife Control, shares his personal journey to becoming a world-class humane wildlife removal operator and the disturbing secrets of others in his industry. The University of Calgary’s Dr. Shelley Alexander discusses her media content analysis study and the impact the media has had on coyotes in Canada. And Sylvia Dolson, Executive Director of the Get Bear Smart Society, tells of how communities faced fears and learned to live peacefully with bears.

Oct 18, 2013
Episode 102: Drawing lines
43:07

A funny thread emerged when we compiled this week's episode of Defender Radio: the lines in our lives. While listening to the interviews, we realized that there are so many crossovers when discussing animal welfare, advocacy and activism. Cary Rentola of the WOLF Sanctuary draws a line between wanting to be close to nature and bringing it too close; Dr. Hal Herzog explores the lines we set up between the pets in our lives, the wildlife we protect and the animals many continue to eat; and Dylan Powell discusses the lines we sometimes must draw to protest wrongdoings.

Defender Radio is presented by Gates Wildlife Control and The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

Oct 13, 2013
Episode 101
38:46

It’s finally here! After a great deal of quiet background work, we’re pleased to launch this first official episode of Defender Radio, a new podcast that focuses on the fur industry, wildlife, advocacy and everything animal related. We also must thank Brad Gates of Gates Wildlife Control in Toronto who has been a strong supporter of APFA and has signed on as the title sponsor for Defender Radio.

In this inaugural episode hear interviews from Dr. Marc Bekoff, Brad Gates, Jasmine Polsinelli and Jo-Anne McArthur.

Oct 02, 2013
Living With Wildlife Special Report - Mike Badry
35:58

In this special report, Defender Radio brings you the entire presentation of Mike Badry, Wildlife Conflict Prevention Coordinator for the BC Ministry of Environment, as heard at the 3rd Annual Living With Wildlife Conference on September 20, 2013.

Sep 30, 2013
Living With Wildlife Special Report - Sara Dubois
26:39

In this special report, Defender Radio brings you the entire presentation of Sara Dubois, Manager of Wildlife Service at the BC SPCA, as heard at the 3rd Annual Living With Wildlife Conference on September 20, 2013.

Sep 30, 2013
Living With Wildlife Special Report - Sylvia Dolson
33:21

In this special report, Defender Radio brings you the entire presentation of Sylvia Dolson, Executive Director of the Get Bear Smart Society, as heard at the 3rd Annual Living With Wildlife Conference on September 20, 2013.

Sep 30, 2013
Living With Wildlife Special Report - Louise Liebenberg
37:35

In this special report, Defender Radio brings you the entire presentation of Louise Liebenberg, owner of the Predator Friendly certified Grazier Ranch, as heard at the 3rd Annual Living With Wildlife Conference on September 20, 2013.

Sep 30, 2013
Living With Wildlife Special Report - Dr. Shelley Alexander
39:24

In this special report, Defender Radio brings you the entire presentation of Dr. Shelley Alexander, Professor at the University of Calgary and internationally recognized canid expert, as heard at the 3rd Annual Living With Wildlife Conference on September 20, 2013.

Sep 30, 2013