Defender Radio and The Switch

West coast bears like their fish. I don’t think we really need science to tell us that. But which bears eat what, how much salmon they’re eating, where they’re getting it from, what influence that has on the ecosystems around them, even at great distances from the coast, and how that could all impact management across geopolitical lines - now that’s what science is good at.

Megan Adams, PhD candidate at the University of Victoria, research scholar with the Hakai Institute, and biologist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, recently published a study examining the data associated with some of these questions. That study included samples from over 1,400 grizzly and black bears across 690,000 km2 of BC, from 1995 to 2014.  Adams worked with the Wuikinuxv Nation, as well, adding the importance of traditional knowledge to her research and conclusions.

Megan joined Defender Radio to discuss her recently published paper, why salmon and bear populations should be managed together, the influence her time with the Wuikinuxv Nation has imparted on her work, and what animal lovers and environmentalists need to know to protect the salmon-bear relationship and all that it represents in BC.

Direct download: 2017-07-18_DefenderRadioPodcast.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 4:32pm EDT

At one time, the Vancouver Island Marmot held a comfortable position as a unique rodent in high-altitude meadows on their namesake territory. And then humans came a long, and we all know how that goes. Vast changes to the ecosystems surrounding marmot’s home ranges resulted in a disastrous drop in their populations – down to below 30 marmots at one time.

Thankfully, the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation was formed, and just last week, released their 500th captive bred marmot into the ecosystem. Today there is a more stable population of around 200 marmots living on Vancouver Island, and while there is much work left to be done, things are looking better than ever.

Adam Taylor of the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation joined Defender Radio to celebrate their 500th release, discuss the hard lessons learned about reintroducing these unique rodents in a difficult habitat, and why keeping this small, but genetically separate population of marmots healthy matters.

Direct download: 2017-07-10_DefenderRadioPodcast.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 5:18pm EDT

A quiet announcement made in March stirred the pot – and now it’s brewing up to a storm. In the last week, dozens of wildlife protection non-profits, research groups, and nature-related businesses have clamored for the province to respond to calls for changes to a plan to put the fate of British Columbia’s wildlife in the hands of a hunter-and trapper-funded agency.

Despite pre-election pledges of millions annually to top-up the separate agency, and a now-former MLA’s claims that the government was quote afraid to manage wolves or grizzly bears because of the associated politics, few details have been released to any of the non-consumptive groups. With the hunters and trappers making up only 2% of BC’s population, and non-consumptive activities such as wildlife viewing, and photography generating significant economic stimulus to the province, it is reasonable that nature lovers of all stripes be concerned about what this agency will be – and what it will cost taxpayers, and the animals.

To discuss what this hunter-funded agency could look like, the misconceptions about wildlife science and consumptive users, and what animal lovers in British Columbia and around the world can do, Defender Radio was joined by BC Nature president Dr. Alan Burger.

Direct download: 2017-07-03_Complete.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 4:59pm EDT