Defender Radio and The Switch

Shark Week has come and gone for the year, but your chance to learn and celebrate sharks can go thanks to a new book that brings together academic study and the thrill of learning about the ocean’s great predators.

Shark Biology and Conservation: Essentials for Educators, Students and Enthusiasts is set to publish September 1, 2020 by John Hopkins Press. The title may be dry, but the authors, Drs. Daniel Abel and Dean Grubbs, bring a clear passion and naturalist view of shark biology that encourages curiosity and excitement for readers.

Dr. Grubbs joined Defender Radio and discussed how he and Dr. Abel developed the book to be accessible for most readers, why including scientific information with context was important and the incredible human impact on the hundreds of shark species that inhabit our planet. We also talked about our favourite monster shark movies, which shark is the Labrador retriever of the sea, and the oceanic adventure stories that captured our imaginations. Dr. Grubbs even took the time to give a scientific opinion of my irrational fear (and firm belief) that sharks inhabit Lake Ontario.

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_720_Beyond_Shark_Week.mp3
Category:Season 07 -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT

Wildlife corridors are a great idea: they connect habitats and ecosystems, allowing animals of all types to safely get across roads. As over 20,000 animals are killed, 570 motorists injured and $700,000 spent for clean up of animal-vehicle collisions in BC according to, corridors are also a wise investment.

They come in many shapes and sizes, but generally are under or above ground passages that allow for safe passage where humans travelling at high-speeds represent a risk.

Questions about the efficacy of these corridors are being answered with ongoing research; but one that jumped out at me was the question of how a wildlife corridor impacts predator-prey relationships. There’s a logic to the concern: if a predator figures out that their prey are routinely using a narrow, easy-to-ambush tunnel, they may be able to outwit and negatively impact prey populations.

Of course, the best way to find an answer is to ask a question: and that’s what April Martinig did.

Martinig, a PhD candidate at University of Alberta, was the lead author on a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, titled ‘Temporal clustering of prey in wildlife passages provides no evidence of a prey-trap.’ This study adds to the growing list of benefits of wildlife corridors around the world. To explain why wildlife corridors are great, the lengthy process of reviewing tens of thousands of images from trail cameras, and what insights about predators, prey and their relationships she learned, April Martinig joined Defender Radio.

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The Study:

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Pocdast_719_Safe_Passage_April_Martinig.mp3
Category:Season 07 -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

Animal advocacy is a huge community. There’s folks like us at The Fur-Bearers, who focus on wildlife coexistence, habitat issues and a specific commercial issue; there’s groups like Coyote Watch Canada or North Shore Black Bear Society who focus on specific wildlife; then there’s groups who focus on farmed animals, domesticated animals, vegan principles, international policy, local policy and more. In short: it’s a huge community.

As such, when we ask the question, “How ya doing, animal advocates,” the response is a collective blurring of various voices. That is, until, you bring in the researchers.

Faunalytics is a non-profit that does research, maintains a research library and directly supports advocates and organizations. In one of their latest projects, they took on the rather large task of figuring out the experiences of animal advocates in Canada and the United States. This is important work: it creates a reference point for future inquiries, shows advocacy organizations where we must improve, and highlights the absolute need for amplifying the voices of and reach to marginalized groups within the animal advocacy community.

Dr. Jo Anderson, Faunalytics’ research director, joined Defender Radio to explore the study, the need for asking these questions, how to interpret the data and what solutions we can seek to improve the animal advocacy community not just to be successful for the animals, but to be good to each other.

Faunalytics is hosting a Q&A about their study! Get the details and submit questions on their Facebook event here:


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The State Of Animal Advocacy In The U.S. & Canada: Experiences & Turnover --

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_718_State_of_Animal_Advocacy_Faunalytics.mp3
Category:Season 07 -- posted at: 2:05pm EDT