Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 322: Cause & Effect of Conflict

We know that grizzly bears love fish. We know that grizzly bears can come into conflict with people and infrastructure. And now, thanks to researchers at Raincoast Conservation Foundation, we know how those two facts are tied together.

Earlier this month, Raincoast published their study, Ecology of conflict: Marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land, in the journal Scientific Reports. By examining over three decades of conflict-killed grizzly reports, the researchers determined that food availability was the greatest cause of conflict – and that other factors such as hunting or population changes played a much less significant role.

To discuss this study, what it means for policy decisions in the future, and why understanding how important ecological studies are to wildlife management, Defender Radio spoke with the lead author of the study Kyle Artelle, who is a biologist for Raincoast and a Hakai PhD scholar at Simon Fraser University.

Direct download: 2016-05-30_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 3:47pm EDT

Episode 321: Cull is a four-letter word

Cull is a four-letter word – and that double-meaning is finally becoming more clear. For years, governments and consumptive wildlife users have argued that culls are necessary – be it for protecting game species, land, or to encourage a specific type of behaviour from hunters and trappers.

But science, advocates, and, it seems, even government reports, indicate that these culls are so ineffective that in some cases their effect is a complete 180 from the intended result.

This week, Defender Radio connected with two people who have interesting things to say about culls. First, we’ll hear from Dr. Adrian Treves of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose recent study has revealed that, in his test area, a cull initiated to reduce poaching of wolves actually increased the illegal hunting.

We’ll also hear from Krista Roessingh of Pacific Wild, one of the groups responsible for a court action against the British Columbia government’s culling of wolves to allegedly protect endangered mountain caribou herds – and the shocking revelations that came as a result of the court case.

Direct download: 2016-05-16_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

Episode 320: Advocacy in Markham

Do compassion and city politics go together? Can we really expect local politicians to do what’s right for the animals, and still balance their duties to their constituents, who the see every day?

If you’re Valerie Burke, you find a way. The City Councillor from Markham has successfully advocated for wildlife in her constituency – including supporting an initiative launched by The Fur-Bearers last year to asking fast food franchises to change the dome lids on beverage containers that have proven disastrous for animals like skunks.

To introduce The Fur-Bearers to the City of Markham and her wildlife advocacy as a politician, Councillor Burke recently joined Defender Radio.

Direct download: 2016-05-09_AdvocacyinMarkham.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 4:32pm EDT

Episode 319: #YMMFire Special Report

The wildfires in Fort McMurray this week have destroyed homes and ways of life. And as residents fled as part of mandatory evacuations, the question lingers for everyone watching: will life ever be the same again?

There is little that many of us can do to help those who have lost everything, but donate to organizations like the Red Cross or the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team when able, and offer a consoling hug to someone in need. We can also look around our own homes at times like these, and see the many things that make our lives special – including our pets.

Having plans in place for when emergency strikes is an important step for preventing tragic loss – and today we connected with two different individuals to talk about such plans.

First we’ll hear from Donna Wackerbaur, a member of the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, who has seen firsthand the intensity of the aftermath from wildfires, and understands the need for preparation. We’ll also hear from Louise Liebenberg, a predator friendly rancher at The Graziere in Alberta, who personally lost pets, guardian animals, and livestock during a horrific fire. Building out an emergency plan has been vital for her business, and she shares with us the importance of thinking through contingencies.

Direct download: 2015-05-05_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 3:20pm EDT