Defender Radio and The Switch

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.

Direct download: 2015-08-31_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

Episode 240: Law and order

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.

Direct download: 2015-08-24_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 7:18pm EDT

Episode 239: Alberta's wild future

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.

Direct download: 2015-08-17_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

Episode 238: Speaking for the wolves

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.

Direct download: 2015-08-10_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Episode 237: The Cougar Channel

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,, 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.

Direct download: 2015-08-03_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT