Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 331: Simply (smelly) skunks

When it comes to skunks, most of us have one of two images in our head. The first is the stinky animal we avoid at all costs. The other… well, the other is a little unrealistic.

The striped predators are surprisingly charming, playful, and loving animals – from a distance. And as a common fur-bearer in urban areas, they can often end up getting into trouble.

Fortunately, there are wildlife rehabilitators like the Wildlife Rescue Association in Burnaby, British Columbia, who are always ready to leap into action to help critters that find themselves injured due to human activity. And to tell us more about skunks – and some of the issues they face this time of year – we were joined by Janelle Vandeerbeek of the WRA.

Direct download: 2016-08-22_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 3:52pm EDT

Episode 330: Wolves in the crosshairs

Woodland caribou aren’t doing too well in Alberta. Two herds specifically, those in the Little Smoky and A La Peche ranges, are at risk of extirpation, or local extinction. Under federal endangered species legislation, Alberta is required to take action. Sadly, this has put wolves in the crosshairs of poor policy and planning.

Recently, a proposal that would lengthen the campaign of wolf killing in an unscientific attempt to prevent losses to the herds, as well as ignore critical changes to habitat through resource exploitation, was fought by a group of wildlife advocates, headed by Wolf Awareness Inc.

To discuss the natural history of Alberta’s wolves, the potentially disastrous proposal being considered by the province, and what wolf lovers around the world can do to stop it, Defender Radio was joined by Sadie Parr, executive director of Wolf Awareness Inc.

Direct download: 2016-08-15_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

Episode 329: Algonquin's Wolves

The provincial park is home to the Eastern wolf – now often referred to as Algonquin Wolves. These wolves are considered a threatened species and, within the park and a buffer zone, receive protections from hunting and trapping. Given the difficulty in identifying an Algonquin wolf from a coyote or a mix of the two, these protections extend to the similar looking canids.

But studies are showing that as soon as the wolves leave these protective enclaves, be it chasing prey or searching for new territories, they quickly become victims of hunters and trappers. Can select areas of protection truly help restore the Algonquin wolf’s population to healthy levels, or will connected buffers and larger areas of land be necessary?

To talk about the situation facing the Algonquin wolf – as well as Ontario’s coyotes, Defender Radio was joined by Hannah Barron, Director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns for Earthroots.

Direct download: 2016-08-08_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT