Defender Radio and The Switch

Bad Coyote, the 2013 documentary that purports to explore the state of Atlantic Canadians during a cull of coyotes after the tragic death of folksinger Taylor Mitchell in October 2009, is available to view online.  The documentary was released online as part of the National Film Board’s National Canadian Film Day this year. In the last week, several listeners, supporters of The Fur-Bearers, and friends, contacted the show and The Fur-Bearers to let us know that it was available for online viewing, and that the link was being passed around.

The write-up for Bad Coyote states that it asks if residents’ fears of a new “super species” are justified, or if they’re responding to fear mongering. While many filmmakers would have gone to great lengths to sensationalize beyond the title, writer and director Jason Andrew Young made clear efforts to provide some balance. This was accomplished namely through interviews with Taylor Mitchell’s mother, Emily Mitchell, who advocated for compassion to wildlife and an end to the cull, and Dr. Simon Gadbois, a canid researcher at Dalhousie University.

Though time is given to Dr. Gadbois, frequently his scientific-based statements are cut down to simple soundbites, and, ultimately rejected by the so-called folk logic of those who profit from the exploitation of coyotes, without an opportunity for rebuttal. Even the very question of what exactly happened on October 27, 2009, which led to the death of Ms. Mitchell in hospital the following day, isn’t fully explored – and that’s where our interview with Dr. Simon Gadbois, an opportunity for discussion and in-depth rebuttals, begins on this week’s episode.

Direct download: 2017-08-28_DefenderRadioPodcast-BadCoyote.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

Shooting a bear is remarkably easy. You need someone to help you find them, the equipment and knowledge of that equipment to be able to line up the shot, a bit of patience, and then you either push a button – or pull a trigger.

Trish Boyum and her husband Eric own Ocean Adventures, a successful ecotourism business on the coast, and are also advocates for the protection of grizzlies and other wildlife. Trish joined Defender Radio to share her reaction to the announcement on trophy hunting, how her husband confronted armed hunters trying to poach a grizzly bear in a provincial park, and why only one type of shooting has a future for grizzlies in British Columbia.

Direct download: 2017-08-22_DefenderRadioPodcast-Ecotourism-Grizzly-Trophy-Hunting.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 6:43pm EDT

In my experience, when this hunt is discussed, us urban folk from away are dismissed for not understanding what it means to be a Newfoundlander. That’s fair – I don’t know what it’s like to be a part of that culture, which is very rich and distinct. But it’s not just me in Hamilton, or my colleagues in Vancouver, or even a sizable amount of the general population around the world who think the seal hunt is cruel and economically unviable – it’s the very people who call the Rock home that are questioning the industry.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, conducted a survey of Newfoundlanders earlier this summer, and found that the residents of the Atlantic province have changing views on the economic future of the commercial hunt, as well as their personal connection to it, and own use of seal products.

Sheryl Fink, Director of Wildlife Campaigns for Canada, joined Defender Radio to discuss this survey, the ramifications of what was learned, and what else the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer its people and visitors.

Direct download: 2017-08-14_DefenderRadioPodcast-SealHuntSurvey.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 10:36pm EDT

The scene looks like one painted with the words of Tolkien: moss covered rocks, a babbling brook, various low shrubs, and monstrous trees fill the landscape. The photo I’m describing is this week’s episode art, and was taken by the guest you’ll hear from today. It’s truly beautiful, and exactly what I imagined when we started talking about the Acadian forests of Nova Scotia.

It’s also gone.

Full of biodiversity, hundreds of years old, and filling an ecological role that’s difficult to fully comprehend, the Acadian forests of Atlantic Canada are under attack. Clearcutting, ineffective replanting, backroom politics, and disinformation are creating a hazardous situation that, according to our guest Cliff Seruntine, is hitting the crisis point.

A member of Stop Spraying and Clearcutting Nova Scotia, Cliff says there is less than 1% of the original Acadian Forest left – and it is being cut 20 times faster than it can rejuvenate itself. Cliff joined Defender Radio to discuss the unique ecosystems found in the Acadian Forests, what’s driving the clear cutting, and what ecological and economic solutions exist to replace this dangerous industry.

Direct download: 2017-08-07_DefenderRadioPodcast.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 6:23pm EDT

Sandra Riches, the BC Coordinator for AdventureSmart, joined Defender Radio to talk selfie safety, the basics of being prepared, and what has led to nearly 1,600 search and rescue operations taking place per year in British Columbia alone.

Direct download: 2017-07-31_DefenderRadioPodcast.mp3
Category:Season 04 -- posted at: 11:03am EDT