Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 236: The journey of OR-7

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.

Direct download: 2015-07-27_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 1:18pm EDT

Episode 235: Breaking the news

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.

Direct download: 2015-07-20_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 10:12am EDT

Episode 234: After bite

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.

Direct download: 2015-07-13_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 4:14pm EDT

Episode 233: Special Report

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 To help North Island Wildlife Recovery Association with their costs, visit


Direct download: 2015-07-09_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 3:52pm EDT