Defender Radio and The Switch

As we press through these colder months of the winter, I’m seeing more questions about coyotes pop up on social media and traditional media. Of course, this is often in response to bad memes or misinformation designed to frighten people, rather than educate them. Check out for some the articles we’ve written to try and respond to these concerns.

But it’s also an opportunity to talk about aversion conditioning – commonly referred to as hazing – and the role it can play in mitigating and ending human conflict with coyotes. Lauren Van Patter, a Queen’s University PhD candidate and my good friend Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada worked together to pen a paper that outlines the scientific literature on aversion conditioning, as well as the experiences of the Coyote Watch Canada Canid Response Team. Titled, Advancing Best Practices for Aversion Conditioning to Mitigate Human-Coyote Conflicts in Urban Areas and published openly in the journal Human-Wildlife Interactions, the paper also prompted an outstanding essay on

Lauren and Lesley joined Defender Radio to talk about the importance of this paper, why we need to understand what is and isn’t proper aversion conditioning and how we can coexist with our essential wild neighbours.

The Paper: article:

Lauren Van Patter's Queen's University page:

Coyote Watch Canada:

Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_808_Coyote_Aversion_Conditioning.mp3
Category:Season 08 -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a lot of change in the world in the last 13 months. One of the most notable, unfortunately, is an increase in plastic waste entering our oceans. Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, which is frequently made with plastics more than doubled in size as a global industry in response to the pandemic.

Oceans Asia, a non-profit focused on marine conservation, released a dire report indicating 1.56 billion facemasks entered the marine environment in 2020. But PPE is just the tip of the pollution iceberg.

To dive into where this waste comes from, how it impacts the planet, and what we can all do to make a difference today and into the future, Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff joined the Defender Radio podcast.

Read the OceansAsia report:

Follow The Fur-Bearers on Facebook (, Instagram (, Twitter ( and LinkedIn (!

Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_807_PPE_and_Plastic_Pollution.mp3
Category:Season 08 -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

Luci Cudman, the executive director of the North Shore Black Bear Society and Ellie Lamb, bear behaviour expert and bear viewing guide and instructor joined me for a call the late days of fall 2020 to talk about how our actions – and inactions – impact the behaviour of bears, why some strategies to coexist aren’t as successful as others, and how we as individuals can truly make a difference for bears and other animals in our communities.

Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_806_Bear_Facts_North_Shore_v2.mp3
Category:Season 08 -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

Defender Radio, the podcast for wildlife advocates and animal lovers, will resume posting new episodes on January 7, 2021!

The first episode to be featured includes Luci Cadman and Ellie Lamb of the North Shore Black Bear Society, an outstanding community organization providing education and solutions to prevent human conflict with black bears!

Recently, episodes were delayed due to an ongoing technical error and a short step-away due to some overlapping projects at The Fur-Bearers, and, in all honesty, a COVID-fatigue wall hit pretty hard in December. 

I'm very excited to be back and am scheduling new interviews on a variety of wildlife, animal and environmental subjects!

Until the next episode, remember to be kind, and to stay informed and stay strong!

Category:Season 08 -- posted at: 5:03pm EDT