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Squirrels and other Fur-Bearers, a collection of essays by American naturalist and essayist, John Burroughs, provides fascinating insight into the daily life of small woodland creatures. Included in these essays are Burrough's personal observations of squirrels, rabbits, mink, and chipmunks, as well as numerous other small mammals. Highly recommended for anyone, both young and old, with an interest in nature and wildlife. (summary by Laura Caldwell)
 
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I’ve got good news, better news and bad news, folks. The good news is that yesterday a book launched that will change minds, hearts and lives around the world. The better news is that Jo-Anne McArthur, co-editor of this book, took time out of an incredibly busy schedule this morning to chat with me about it. The bad news is that, because it’s 2020,…
 
A lot of animals are tested upon and killed in the name of science, particularly biomedical research. In conversation, many people adopt a utilitarian attitude – the lives and deaths of these non-human animals is to benefit human health, an acceptable trade off. But what if it wasn’t benefiting human health – and what if, before the experiments eve…
 
Anthrozoology is a fascinating field of study – simply put, it examines the interactions between humans and other animals. This is a broad concept, which is why so many fields overlap with it: anthropology, biology, philosophy, psychology and more. To me, the concept of combining these fields is daunting and intimidating; but thanks to many dedicat…
 
In a world with a 24-hour news cycle, robot trolls on the internet and unprecedented political changes, knowing where we stand on some core issues can be a bit… difficult. Fortunately, there are tools that can cut through the noise and help us find answers to understand where Canadians and Americans stand on animal-related matters. Mario Canseco, p…
 
It’s season eight! We’ve got a lot to catch up on – the pandemic, the outstanding contest, what’s going on with The Fur-Bearers and more – and we will catch up on all of that with a special episode soon. This week I want to dive right into our interview because of the timeliness and need for action on this issue. Southern Mountain caribou in Britis…
 
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 …
 
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 WildlifeCollisions.ca, corridors are also a wise investment. They come in many s…
 
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 princ…
 
British Columbia has ordered the killing of hundreds of wolves as part of their caribou recovery plan in recent years. You can hear more about this plan, the maternal penning and ongoing habitat destruction in episodes past. A 2019 study gave scientific support to killing wolves to protect the caribou – despite widespread opposition, it largely bec…
 
Media outlets paint wildlife as the perpetrators of actions against people. But in their own recounting of events, they show how humans often started the conflicts. Former journalist and host of Defender Radio Michael Howie explores this issue and asks the questions that went unanswered by media outlets when humans and wildlife come into conflict. …
 
Nearly five years ago to the day, then-Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant famously refused an order to unnecessarily kill two healthy bear cubs; he was suspended, effectively fired and eventually left government service entirely. But just a few weeks ago, justices in BC’s appellant court ruled that the province did not play by their own rules, mea…
 
Black bears are common throughout much of Canada and, despite their gentleness and general lack of interest in people, end up the accused source of conflict with people regularly. Unfortunately, that also means that law enforcement agencies are the ones responding to, and frequently killing bears. These agencies can lack training, funding and/or th…
 
I have no words this week. There is nothing I can say that will soften the hurt facing people in North America, and particularly Indigenous peoples and people of colour. This is not the time for my voice. Now is the time for the voice of those who must be heard. This week, instead of Defender Radio, which will return next week with two new intervie…
 
How can you tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote? What’s a coywolf? Do they live alone or in packs? Are their packs like wolves, or different? We asked for questions and we got ‘em! A few weeks back, I asked on social media what your questions would be for Lesley Sampson, Founder and Executive Director at Coyote Watch Canada. You answere…
 
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The last time I posted an episode it was February and a global health emergency was landing hard in Canada and the United States. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 but a lot of questions remain. You’re probably not going to get answers to those questions on this podcast. B…
 
Eighty-one per cent of BC’s southern mountain caribou local populations have lost more habitat than what’s needed for survival. That’s the lede from the Wilderness Committee news item announcing the release of the NGO’s report, State of Southern Mountain Caribou Habitat in BC: Exceeding Disturbance Limits. The fate of the mountain caribou in this r…
 
Let’s talk about the economy. An exciting start to any conversation, right? Here’s the thing: events like Ontario’s spring bear hunt are pushed by governments because they look at the financial impact of them. But here’s the thing: hunting and trapping aren’t the only activities that bring in dollars to the province. In fact, ecotourism as a whole …
 
Well, there’s no nice way to put it: the Ontario government wants to make permanent the spring season for killing black bears. There’s a whole lot of reasons the Ontario spring bear hunt shouldn’t exist at all, let alone be made a permanent fixture. To explore the myriad of reasons it’s a bad idea and more completely outline the harm this hunt can …
 
Bill 156 is dangerous for animals. This legislation, introduced in late 2019, targets those who find their ways onto animal agricultural facilities and document disregard for animal welfare or individuals who are working on farms and become whistleblowers in the face of blatant animal cruelty. It even targets those who protest or bear witness for a…
 
There’s no interview this week but I do want to share with you a brief version of the 20-year history behind The Fur-Bearers’ quest to regain charitable status and what that could mean for the animals and for you! Here are some relevant links: Donate Now: http://thefurbearers.com/charity Intuit Tax Article: https://thefurbearers.com/blog/what-chari…
 
We’ve all been angry at a situation and let it out on social media. It makes sense: that’s a place our friends and community can gather from afar and acknowledge our feelings and join in the process of venting. The trouble these days, however, seems to be when that’s all we do when we have legitimate concerns about policies or the actions of others…
 
Tim Gordon is an Exeter University PhD student working on some fascinating solutions to help fish on coral reefs in Australia using sound. As cool as this research is, that’s not what brought Tim’s work to my attention: it was a short letter published in the journal Science. Titled, Grieving environmental scientists need support, Gordon co-wrote th…
 
Bears are hungry. Like super duper hungry. This time of year they’re getting ready for hibernation and are spending most of their time getting all the calories they can – and that means it’s extra important to manage attractants and do what we can to keep them from hanging out in our neighbourhoods. Even if we individually like having the bears in …
 
We need change in how we view wildlife and the management of species and their homes. Outdated science and traditions need to be updated with current data and effective traditional ecological knowledge. But how do we start? With a paradigm shift – and that’s what the Cochrane Research Institute and Cochrane Ecological Institute are hoping to create…
 
This episode is later than originally anticipated – between human and canine health issues and some technical whoopsies, things got delayed. And before we get into it, I want to let you know that JoAnne and I get into some heavy conversation about compassion fatigue and the emotional weight of advocacy work. If that isn’t something you’re up for – …
 
The Ontario government is considering liberalizing wolf and coyote hunting in Northern Ontario in a bid to increase moose hunting opportunities. But their own science and facts indicate that killing more wolves and coyotes won’t have the impact they want – making this an entirely political policy. This issue isn’t just about wolves and coyotes and …
 
What is compassionate conservation? How can teaching today’s students the tenets of this movement affect government decisions tomorrow? And why does it matter in the end? All these questions and more are discussed with UBC professor and researcher Dr. Kristen Walker on the first episode of Defender Radio’s seventh season! Join the Defender Radio Pa…
 
How do you grow empathy and protect the future non-human animals in a part of the world most people will never visit? One company has the answer – and the science to back it up. Krikey, a mobile gaming company founded by Jhvani and Ketaki Shriram, recently partnered with The Ellen Fund to launch Gorillas!, a 3D, augmented reality game that allows p…
 
As many of you know, I’m a dog guy. I share my home with JJ the Hamilton Hound, who you’ll often hear clicking around and bringing me toys while I’m interviewing folks. And as you may also know, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Marc Bekoff. He’s a prolific author, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, and as an …
 
Bears are dying in British Columbia as spring turns to summer. I’d like to have a cute, chipper way of introducing this interview, but that’s the sad fact. Largely due to poor attractant management, bears wander into communities in search of easy meals, an inconsistent response from various residents results in their ongoing presence in the communi…
 
Cats love to climb, jump, pounce, and play. Unfortunately, they often want to do this outside, where those skills help them kill wildlife and birds in large numbers and are exposed to innumerous risks to their well-being. It’s not fair to tell cats they can’t be who they are, and it isn’t exactly fair to let them be at risk of causing damage or bei…
 
Mountain caribou are endangered in British Columbia. It’s a big deal: the federal government has threatened to intervene if plans aren’t put in place to protect them. One plan, worked on heavily by First Nations leaders, is receiving praise. But the plan for at least one other region has huge holes and fails to address some key issues. While protec…
 
The Fur-Bearers and Defender Radio are proud to announce the launch of a new project: The Young Defenders, a site and podcast to help youth Defend The Future Of Wildlife And The Environment Through Education, Communication and Kindness. Visit www.YoungDefenders.ca! Young Defenders Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theyoungdefenders Young Defenders…
 
PJ is the Director of Fashion Policy at the Humane Society of the United States and has played a major role in getting big brands like Armani to drop fur and institute fur-free policies. We had a wonderful conversation about fur, policy, the historic context of the current fight to #MakeFurHistory, and how his method has proven successful. We even …
 
Defender Radio host Michael Howie spent four days in Belleville, Ontario, where a nearly year-long process to protect beavers after one was found in a trapped reached its conclusion. The interviews included in this episode were recorded in the field with local residents, political leaders, and the inventor of the Beaver Deceiver himself, Skip Lisle…
 
Host Michael Howie shares the news that Defender Radio has reached 100,000 downloads, and gets a surprise midway through recording! Support Defender Radio on Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio Sign up for The Fur-Bearers email updates: www.TheFurBearers.com/updates. Follow Defender Radio on: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.…
 
It’s the Easter long weekend and you know what that means – bunnies, chicks and other little critters are being discussed, if not bought, as presents. But as many of you know, little animals aren’t just gifts, they’re sentient beings who are a lifetime commitment, require love, patience, veterinary care, and many other things. A while back I spoke …
 
Have you ever looked over at your dog and cat and wondered, “Are they happy?” If you’re like me, you probably have. But have you ever asked deeper questions, like are they fulfilled, how do they view themselves in relation to the world, and do they consider life after death? I have, but I think it was 4 am on a Tuesday morning and I’d been up for 2…
 
The idea of a west coast seal and sea lion hunt or cull popped up earlier this year. It seemed a bit strange, but that perhaps there was some internal logic: killing seals and sea lions who eat fish could help the beleaguered transient and at risk Orca populations, ensure that fish stocks remain healthy enough for commercial use, and maybe exploit …
 
The science is pretty straight forward when it comes to rehabilitating grizzly bears: it works, and they’re not more likely to come into conflict as a result of rehabilitation. But that hasn’t stopped the Alberta government from continuing to prevent qualified rehabilitators from taking in grizzly cubs – despite the fact that it’s an acceptable and…
 
If you read enough headlines about the environment and wildlife, it won’t be long until you see one like ‘kill wolves to protect endangered caribou.’ In simple terms, the suggested actions by some government-funded researchers or those with a vested interest in killing animals makes sense: if we remove the predator or competition, the population of…
 
John E. Marriott has taken some of the most breathtaking photos of wildlife that I have ever seen. He’s the keynote speaker at The Fur-Bearers gala event including the Clements Awards on March 30, and he’s been a regular on Defender Radio sharing stories about his adventures, ethical wildlife photography, and conservation. In his latest episode of …
 
Boss’ story is similar to many others we’ve heard this trapping season, but he was one of the few lucky ones. While on a walk with his guardian near his home in British Columbia, Boss was lured to a baited snare and became entangled. Fortunately, he was able to get loose – but the event injured him and has shaken his family. Now they’re asking ques…
 
Not long ago, Kimberly Ross and her family lost their beloved companion Titus to a legally set snare. This episode features an emotional interview with Kimberly. If you are unable or choose not to listen, I understand – but I do ask that you click on the links in our blog or show notes, or head to www.TheFurBearers.com/snares to take action on bann…
 
One year ago today, I spoke about hope in a video like this. It's been a long year, with loss and pain, but I know together we can make change for ourselves, and the world. Listen to Defender Radio: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/defender-radio/id718357541&ls=1 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/defender-radio Spotify: …
 
Reggie Raccoon is looking forward to a day of loot on December 25. Will his greed reign, or will the spirit of giving find its way into his heart? The Bandit Who Gave Back Christmas was written by Marisa King, who also co-directed, and played the parts of Narrator, Snickers, Stickles, and Sniggles. Marisa King is a local actor, director and animal …
 
Protest and activism are a cornerstone of change, particularly in social issues. While our right to protest and speak are guaranteed by law in both Canada and the United States, some law enforcement agencies push back at those participating in protest or activism – at times beyond their rights. Understanding what your rights are is important for al…
 
Before we get started, I want to put out a general advisory – in this episode we will be speaking in a matter-of-fact tone about the cruelty of snare traps and the poison strychnine. You will hear details about how these devices work and the devastation they cause in plain language and that may be upsetting to some listeners. Dr. Gilbert Proulx has…
 
The World Wildlife Fund issued their bi-annual Living Planet report in late October, and it painted a dark reality: humanity has wiped out 60% of animal life on the planet since the 1970s, and that we are marching toward ecological disaster due to our consumption of food and resources. The media had something of a field day with this – experts from…
 
Changes at the OSPCA, concerns about an NGO being in law enforcement, and the importance of filing reports, complaints, and creating paper trails are discussed with Animal Justice Executive Director Camille Labchuk. Learn more about Animal Justice at www.animaljustice.ca. Defender Radio Patreon: www.Patreon.com/DefenderRadio Defender Radio Emails: …
 
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