Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 232: Managing the invasion

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.

Direct download: 2015-06-29_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 11:12pm EDT

Episode 231: Good news

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.

Direct download: 2015-06-22_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 9:08pm EDT

Episode 230: Awkward Conversations

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.

Direct download: 2015-06-15_Complete.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 5:31pm EDT