Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 221: Water world

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.

Direct download: 2015-03-30_DefendeRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 4:27pm EDT

Episode 220: The Easter Bunny exposed!

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.

Direct download: 2015-03-23_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 10:35pm EDT

Episode 219: Respecting raccoons

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.

Direct download: 2015-03-16_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT

Episode 218: Badgering for change

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.

Direct download: 2015-03-09_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 3:25pm EDT

Episode 217: The State of the Beaver

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

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.

Direct download: 2015-03-02_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT