Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 141: In the trenches of wildlife rehab

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.

Direct download: 2014-07-28_Defender_Radio.mp3
Category:Season 01 -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

Episode 140: Grizzlies and the Heiltsuk people

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


Direct download: 2014-07-21_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 01 -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT

Episode 139: Getting footloose in Montana

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.

Direct download: 2014-07-14_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 01 -- posted at: 12:51pm EDT

Episode 138: The wolf effect

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.

Direct download: 2014-07-07_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 01 -- posted at: 1:37pm EDT