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Conservation and Science

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Are you tired of one-sided environmental narratives? Simplified takes that ignore the nuance and complexity of matters? This show brings diverse perspectives on every environmental story and examines their ecological, social and political dimensions. Listen and become a well-rounded environmental voice, empowered to influence change. I'm Tommy Serafinski and this is the Conservation and Science podcast, where we take a deep dive into topics of ecology, conservation and human-wildlife interactions (which, in most cases, means human-wildlife conflict). Here, I talk with world-class scientists, members of environmental organisations, practical conservationists, farmers, nature writers, and last but not least, hunters and anglers. We talk about biodiversity, conservation, hunting and fishing, rewilding and more. Start with the acclaimed episode 163, “The EU Review of Wolf Protection Status.” It’s the perfect introduction to what this podcast has to offer.

Location:

United States

Description:

Are you tired of one-sided environmental narratives? Simplified takes that ignore the nuance and complexity of matters? This show brings diverse perspectives on every environmental story and examines their ecological, social and political dimensions. Listen and become a well-rounded environmental voice, empowered to influence change. I'm Tommy Serafinski and this is the Conservation and Science podcast, where we take a deep dive into topics of ecology, conservation and human-wildlife interactions (which, in most cases, means human-wildlife conflict). Here, I talk with world-class scientists, members of environmental organisations, practical conservationists, farmers, nature writers, and last but not least, hunters and anglers. We talk about biodiversity, conservation, hunting and fishing, rewilding and more. Start with the acclaimed episode 163, “The EU Review of Wolf Protection Status.” It’s the perfect introduction to what this podcast has to offer.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Conservation and Science - Introduction

7/19/2024
Are you tired of one-sided environmental narratives? Simplified takes that ignore the nuance and complexity of matters? This show brings diverse perspectives on every environmental story and examines their ecological, social and political dimensions. Listen and become a well-rounded environmental voice, empowered to influence change. I'm Tommy Serafinski and this is the Conservation and Science podcast, where we take a deep dive into topics of ecology, conservation and human-wildlife interactions (which, in most cases, means human-wildlife conflict). Here, I talk with world-class scientists, members of environmental organisations, practical conservationists, farmers, nature writers, and last but not least, hunters and anglers. We talk about biodiversity, conservation, hunting and fishing, rewilding and more. Start with the acclaimed episode 163, “The EU Review of Wolf Protection Status.” It’s the perfect introduction to what this podcast has to offer. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:01:03

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181: Farming and Soil Biodiversity with Stuart Meikle

7/16/2024
What is sustainable agriculture? Does regenerative farming mean focusing primarily on the soil biome? Is farming a leading cause of biodiversity loss? …and do we really have only 60 harvests left? To get the answers to those and other questions about farming and biodiversity, join me for a conversation with an agricultural management and policy specialist, an economist, a writer and an advisor, Stuart Meikle. In this episode, Stuart shares with us the history of his education in farming and later his work in different farming environments across the world. Then we switch gears and talk about issues specific to Irish agriculture, which also has some relevance in the UK context. And so, we discuss the use of nitrogen fertilisers, soil health and whether the cuts to the size of the national cattle herd are inevitable. I also ask Stuart about his thoughts on the recently passed Nature Restoration Law. After you listen to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so as not to miss more farming episodes that are due in the coming weeks. Being a subscriber also gives you an excellent opportunity to send me your feedback and suggestions about past and future episodes. It’s as easy as replying to an email! Finally, newsletter subscribers are first to be informed about live events and can avail themselves of substantial discounts on exclusive content. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:01:10:07

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180: Hunters Just Are

7/2/2024
Not long ago I posted a tweet: “Hunters are not good or bad, they just are. Therefore, they must be managed just like, and as a part of, the wildlife they hunt.” It was an attempt to condense my thoughts about our relationship with wildlife and nature. I purposefully used the word “our” because I believe that we are all hunters; it's just that this instinct is dormant in most of us. The reactions ranged from incredulity to accusations of being anti-hunting. There was also a substantial portion of those who agreed with the sentiment. Most importantly though, the tweet sparked an interesting conversation and led to some interesting points being raised. Since I don’t think that Twitter (X) is a good platform for deeper conversations, I decided to respond to some of the comments in this podcast episode. It is also a great opportunity to verbalise a substantial amount of thoughts about hunting and nature conservation that I’ve accumulated over the years of both hunting and making this podcast. If you want to respond to my remarks, the best way to do it is in the comments under the YouTube video (for those who are watching this on YouTube). If you’d prefer not to comment in public, you can reply to my newsletter to send an email straight to my inbox. And if you’re not subscribed to the newsletter yet, the link is below. It is another in the series of solo episodes that I’m going to publish this year. In those I present the views that I have developed after many years of making this podcast which include not only conversations with experts but also attendance at conferences and reading countless books on these subjects. You can treat those as bonus episodes. The episodes where I interview scientists, conservationists and people with a love for nature and the outdoors are still coming on a fortnightly schedule. If you’re interested in hearing more from me, have a suggestion for future episodes or want to leave feedback, please contact me through the contact form. If you’re an event organiser and would like me to speak at your event, go and check out the following link. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:32:33

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179: Sika Deer: Pest or Precious?

6/18/2024
Sika (cervus nippon) is a mid-sized deer that was introduced to Ireland in the 1860s to the Powerscourt Estate. Soon after that, it started spreading across Ireland. Today, the main concentrations of sika are in Kerry, Wicklow, Tyrone and Fermanagh. More recently, it has also been found in Waterford, Galway, Limerick, and Wexford. The National Biodiversity Data Centre in Ireland lists sika as an invasive species. Despite that, it’s afforded protection under the Wildlife Act. It is prized by hunters as a game species and a source of excellent quality venison on the one hand, and hated by foresters and environmentalists for the damage to forestry and biodiversity on the other. Sika is present on the entire European continent and, although not as widespread as in Ireland, it is also causing similar problems. This is reflected in the recent move by the European Commission to launch consultations to put sika on the Invasive Alien Species (IAS) list across the Union. This poses the obvious question: what does it mean for the Irish population of sika if the EC makes such a decision? Will or should it be allowed continuous protection with open and closed hunting seasons? Or should it be reduced to the status of vermin and be eradicated across the country? To discuss the potential future of sika deer in Ireland and present a whole spectrum of views about this species, and invasive species more generally, I spoke with four expert guests presenting different views on the subject. By listening to this episode you will hear from Professor Jaimie T.A. Dick who specialises in Invasion Ecology, Eoghan Daltun an award-winning author who has spent last 15 years regenerating an Irish Atlantic rainforest, Damien Hannigan a Government Appointee to the Irish Deer Management Forum and Public Relations Officer at the Irish Deer Commission, and Professor of Wildlife Restoration Ecology, Adam T. Ford. Sika Deer in Ireland: Invasive Status and Its Impact - A Three-Episode Exclusive Access here: https://conservationlens.com/products/sika-deer-ias --- Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:01:28:35

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178: Why Biodiversity Matters with Nigel Dudley

6/4/2024
“Why Biodiversity Matters” is fundamentally a philosophy book. However, the author and our guest, Nigel Dudley, is not a philosopher but an accomplished conservation biologist who has accumulated an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience working on conservation projects across the world. He has worked as a consultant ecologist with international organisations like WWF International, IUCN and UNESCO. He is a co-founder of Equilibrium Research and Industry Fellow in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the author and editor of numerous titles, including being a co-author of Leaving Space for Nature (Routledge, 2020), Arguments for Protected Areas (Routledge, 2010) and Authenticity in Nature (Routledge, 2011). The book is an interesting and thoughtful discussion on the subject of “rights” applied to different entities. The author analyses the overlaps, synergies and also contradictions between concepts like ecosystem rights, biodiversity rights, animal rights and, last but not least, human rights. While reading the book I was impressed by the deep analysis which at the same time was presented in simple and easy to understand language. Everything is illustrated with stories and examples taken from the author's vast experience in places like Vietnam, Bhutan, Africa, Tanzania, the UK, and South America. I found this book to be insightful, balanced and thought-provoking. Especially since it deals head-on with widely discussed hot-button topics like human-made ecosystems, invasive species, predator control, trophy hunting and the disproportionate attention given to charismatic megafauna at the expense of wildlife that is “more important” from the ecological point of view. Whoever tried their hand at discussing these topics at any length is well aware of how nuanced and difficult such discussions can be. So, more kudos to the author for concisely and competently dealing with them in his book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the different concepts of rights as they relate to the environment as well as the wildlife and humans inhabiting it. As always, you can purchase the book using the link below and by doing so, you will support my work as I’ll get a small commission from each sale. Get "Why Biodiversity Matters": https://amzn.to/4bF4MLW Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Duration:00:56:55

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A Quick Update from Tommy: Programming Note

5/22/2024
It is another in the series of solo episodes that I’m going to publish this year. In those I present the views that I have developed after many years of making this podcast which include not only conversations with experts but also attendance at conferences and reading countless books on these subjects. You can treat those as bonus episodes. The episodes where I interview scientists, conservationists and people with a love for nature and the outdoors are still coming on a fortnightly schedule. If you’re interested in hearing more from me, have a suggestion for future episodes or want to leave feedback, please contact me through the contact form. If you’re an event organiser and would like me to speak at your event, go and check out the following link.

Duration:00:02:38

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177: Nature, Farming and Politics with Saoirse McHugh

5/8/2024
Join me for a conversation with Saoirse McHugh who is running as an independent candidate for the European Parliament to represent the Midlands-North-West constituency. During our discussion, we delve into a wide array of topics such as the connection between agriculture and environmentalism, sustainable land management practices and agricultural subsidies within the EU. We also talk about politics in general and why being politically active is important if you care about nature and the environment. Saoirse talks about her experiences in politics and her decision to re-enter the political arena. She speaks about the complexities of political landscapes and discusses the different motivations that drive individuals towards or away from politics. Another big issue we dedicated a substantial portion of the podcast to is the EU’s Nature Restoration Law. It looked like it was approved by the majority of votes in the European Parliament, when unexpectedly the final vote that was meant to be a mere formality was postponed. So we talked about the current situation of this landmark law and whether there are still any hopes for it to pass. That led us to discuss changing political norms and the threats to democracy it brings. We finish by chatting about Saoirse’s hopes and plans for when she gets elected. Remember to confirm that you’ve registered to vote by the 22nd of May and go ahead and exercise your democratic powers on the 7th of June. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:01:02:17

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176: Invasive Ants Impact Lion Predation on Zebras, with Adam T. Ford

4/24/2024
The paper that we discuss in this episode describes how an invasive species of ants disrupts lion hunting behaviour. There are also acacia trees, elephants, zebras and buffalos involved in the whole chain of interactions between species. To talk about this incredibly interesting research I invited an Associate Professor, Adam Ford, Canada Research Chair in Wildlife Restoration Ecology at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, Canada who has a lab of graduate and undergraduate students who work on large mammal ecology. As for the paper that we will discuss today, it was led by Douglas N. Kamaru, a PhD student at the University of Wyoming, in the Goheen lab (Professor Jake Goheen). The other leads are Todd M. Palmer, University of Florida and Corinna Riginos, University of Wyoming. To see the full list of contributors (a total of 20 scientists) I refer you to the paper, which is linked below. As always, you will get more links and articles to dive even deeper into topics we discuss on the podcast in my newsletter. So make sure you subscribe to not miss out on any nerdy, ecological goodness. Further reading: Invasive ants leave lions scrambling for prey on the savannah in an ecological chain reaction | Popular ScienceDisruption of an ant-plant mutualism shapes interactions between lions and their primary prey | ScienceTiny ant species disrupts lion's hunting behavior | ScienceDaily Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:51:59

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175: SOTKA Wetlands with Veli-Matti Pekkarinen and Heikki Helle

4/9/2024
Finnish SOTKA is a large-scale habitat restoration project and a part of a larger Helmi Habitats Programme aimed at restoring Finland’s biodiversity. It is run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment. SOTKA’s objective is large-scale habitat restoration through wetlands rehabilitation, restoration of mires and catchments, non-native (i.e. invasive) predator control and building a network of resting areas for waterfowl. It is also a great example of cooperation between hunting and non-hunting organisations for the benefit of nature. This type of cooperation is something I’ve always been a strong advocate of. So it was my great pleasure to invite to the podcast: Veli-Matti Pekkarinen, the Waterfowl Habitat Specialist from the Finnish Hunters’ Association and Heikki Helle, the Wetland Specialist at BirdLife Finland. Listen to our conversation to learn more about SOTKA and Helmi projects. We also discuss the details of cooperation and specific actions that are undertaken to meet project objectives. I also enquired about the social perception in Finland of actions like predator control. Overall it was interesting to compare mindsets and attitudes in Finland with those in Ireland or the UK. Also, big shoutouts to Padraig Breen from NARGC who was instrumental in making this podcast episode happen. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:58:54

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174: Not A Conservationist

3/26/2024
Many people claim they are conservationists. But are they really? Inspired by your comments and some discussions that I had in the past, I decided to talk about this subject. This episode was recorded outdoors, on the beautiful Irish coast of county Kerry. So, don’t be surprised to hear chough calling in the background or some occasional gusts of wind. It is another in the series of solo episodes that I’m going to publish this year. In those I present the views that I have developed after many years of making this podcast which include not only conversations with experts but also attendance at conferences and reading countless books on these subjects. You can treat those as bonus episodes. The episodes where I interview scientists, conservationists and people with a love for nature and the outdoors are still coming on a fortnightly schedule. If you’re interested in hearing more from me, have a suggestion for future episodes or want to leave feedback, please contact me through the contact form. If you’re an event organiser and would like me to speak at your event, go and check out the following link. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:11:01

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173: The Last Keeper with Tom Opre

3/19/2024
I have been waiting for Tom Opre’s new film “The Last Keeper” since I learned in July 2022 that he and his team are working on it. Well, the wait was over for me at the beginning of February 2024, as I was the only person in Ireland to screen the film. The wait will soon be over for you as well since the film premieres in mid-April in Edinburgh. While you are still waiting, you can listen to my conversation with Tom about the film and wider aspects of Tom’s mission of talking about conservation and indigenous communities. The Last Keeper is a documentary film that takes on the difficult subject of conflict surrounding land use in Scotland. It does a great job of presenting the views from all sides of the struggle. From estate owners, keepers and members of local communities to environmental NGOs, politicians and proponents of rewilding. On top of that, the conversations presented are not just dry statements of opinion. Tom is not shying away from asking difficult questions and pushing his interviewees outside their comfort zone. All that is complemented by brilliant cinematography showcasing stunning views of Scottish landscapes. As this episode drops before the premiere of the film, we are careful to not spill the beans too much during our conversation. Instead, Tom gives you an insight into what drives him to do all his work and how it connects to the topic of his latest film. I fully expect a full range of opinions about the film and the views it presents. It will likely justify a follow-up episode with reactions to the film from those who are facing the issues presented or are just interested in them. For now, enjoy our conversation and don’t forget to subscribe to The Last Keeper newsletter to see the film’s trailer and stay updated about the film’s screening dates and the latest news about it. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:01:23:06

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172: Antidote to Screen Addiction with Emanuel Rose

3/5/2024
This episode is slightly different than usual when it comes to its subject. However, working with technology by day and creating digital content by night, I spend substantial time thinking about and grappling with this subject. So when I learned that a long-term supporter and a friend of the podcast, Emanuel Rose, wrote a book about it, I decided to have him on for a chat. The subject in question is our unhealthy addiction to our phones (mostly) and other devices. Which in the not-so-long term results in a shortened attention span, inability to focus and all-around decrease in happiness and increase in anxiety. And that is not a good state of mind. In his book, “The 7 Principles of the Magic Rock: How Solitude in Nature Anchors Your Mental Health” Emanuel Rose suggests that unplugging and spending more time in nature is a perfect antidote to the aforementioned predicaments. In his succinct book, the author provides plenty of practical advice. It is rounded out with plentiful references to articles and peer-reviewed papers. Get "The 7 Principles of the Magic Rock": https://amzn.to/49ESu59 Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Duration:00:46:35

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171: Rewilding with Steve Carver

2/27/2024
It has been a considerable time since the last time we spoke about rewilding on the podcast. I feel that the discussion around the practice as well as understanding of the term has moved on in the last three to four years. So, I decided to get an update on the state of rewilding. To do so, I invited the Director of the Wildland Research Institute at the School of Geography, University of Leeds, Dr Steve Carver who is also a Professor of Rewilding and Wilderness Science. Nothing like getting an update about rewilding from the professor of rewilding! I was curious whether the meaning and understanding of the term rewilding is any more clear than it used to be. We also revisited some of the classic discussion points around rewilding like: “You want to take us back in time” or “It’s an anti-rural movement” to see if the discourse has developed in any way. And if you’re expecting blindly pro-rewilding answers you might be in for a surprise! Further reading: Guiding principles for rewilding Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:51:51

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170: EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 with Frank Vassen

2/13/2024
Currently, a lot is going on in the European Union concerning regulations that can impact nature and nature restoration. To get a better understanding of the current state of nature in the European Union and the future of nature conservation and restoration I talk with Frank Vassen. Frank works in the Nature Unit in the General Directorate for the Environment at the European Commission. That might sound a little dry but worry not. The conversation was joyful and funny at times. Frank has a good sense of humour and deep understanding of nature conservation and you can see his passion for it. After listening to this episode you will have a comprehensive view of the current state of affairs when it comes to nature conservation in the European context. I asked Frank to explain terms like Natura 2000, 30 by 30, OECMs, etc. These are the terms that we often hear but it’s not always clear what they are and what level of nature protection they offer. We also discuss the challenges faced by nature conservation and restoration initiatives and the possible solutions. We finish with the outlook for the future of nature conservation and restoration in the EU. Last but not least, we discuss what citizens and voters in the European Union can do to help nature and nature conservation efforts. Spoiler alert: we’re not going to tell you who to vote for and it turns out there are more ways to get involved than only through casting votes. That is not to say, of course, that your democratic privileges (duties?) are not important. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the individual participants and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any organisation. The participants are expressing their personal opinions and perspectives. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook Mentioned in this episode: Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the individual participants and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any organisation. The participants are expressing their personal opinions and perspectives.

Duration:00:55:14

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169: Species Reintroductions

2/6/2024
Species reintroductions, often in the context of rewilding, is a topic that we frequently discuss on this podcast. It is also fiercely debated on social media. I have been asked more than once about my views and opinions on this topic. Do I support species reintroductions? Well, it depends. In this episode, I’m going to break down my take on species reintroductions, the good, the bad and the ugly - as the saying goes. It is another in the series of solo episodes that I’m going to publish this year. In those I present the views that I have developed after many years of making this podcast which include not only conversations with experts but also attendance at conferences and reading countless books on these subjects. You can treat those as bonus episodes. The episodes where I interview scientists, conservationists and people with a love for nature and the outdoors are still coming on a fortnightly schedule. If you’re interested in hearing more from me, have a suggestion for future episodes or want to leave feedback, please contact me through the contact form. If you’re an event organiser and would like me to speak at your event, go and check out the following link. Further reading: Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us about Rediscovering Our Nutritional WisdomRestoring the Wild: True Stories of Rewilding Britain’s Skies, Woods and WaterwaysAnthropogenic food subsidies hinder the ecological role of wolves: Insights for conservation of apex predators in human-modified landscapes - ScienceDirectGolden jackal expansion in northernmost Europe: records in Finland | Mammalian Biology Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Duration:00:30:20

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168: Coexistence with Wolves in Estonia with Helen Arusoo

1/30/2024
On my podcast, we talk a lot about coexistence with large carnivores and the challenges it poses. Some of those challenges might seem insurmountable to some. To shed some light on overcoming these hurdles, I contacted Helen Arusoo, an Estonian nature journalist and the leader of the National Animal Working Group. In this conversation, we talk about how Estonia overcame these hurdles and created something that I would consider the gold standard of coexistence with large carnivores. Unsurprisingly, the majority of our time was spent discussing wolves as they seem to be the most difficult carnivore species to coexist with, at least in the northern hemisphere. However, we did discuss other large carnivores like bears too. Our conversation focused mostly on social and cultural factors. We also touched on the European Commission's proposal to lower the protection status of wolves, something we’ve discussed extensively in one of the previous episodes. It was a wonderful conversation and I enjoyed speaking with Helen. Her profound understanding of the challenges of coexistence is impressive. She presented a deeply thought-out perspective and I can only wish that more people who care about wolves could learn from her experience and the Estonian model of coexistence with large carnivores. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:57:29

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167: Conservation Detection Dogs with Caroline Finlay

1/16/2024
When we talk about dogs and conservation, it is usually in the context of wildlife disturbances caused by pet dogs and their inconsiderate owners. However, a specially trained dog can be an invaluable asset in conservation projects that require searches or detection. The subjects can vary from searching and finding carcasses to detecting nests and chicks of birds nesting in burrows. That includes a dog indicating what species was found! To explore the use of dogs in research and conservation projects I talk with Dr Caroline Finlay, the founder of Conservation Detection Dogs Northern Ireland. By listening to this episode, you will learn how it is possible to train a dog for this work. What a typical day of searching looks like. Are there any downsides to using dogs in sensitive habitats? And many more interesting facts. You will also learn about some specific projects and common activities like searching for carcasses around wind turbines or research projects on Eurasian Curlew or Manx Shearwater. Finally, if you’re a researcher, you will learn when and how to engage with the CDDNI and see if they can be of help to your project. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:49:49

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166: Conservation and Science in 2024 - Housekeeping

1/2/2024
The new year has just started and I’m quick to treat you to yet another episode of the Conservation and Science podcast. Since it is this early in the year, it’s a good opportunity to give you an update about my plans for 2024 and what you can expect from the podcast. Listen to find out about changes to the episode release schedule, my writing and speaking efforts, and my future social media presence. In the second part of this episode, I take a look back at the 2023 releases and share with you my reflections on them. It was an interesting exercise for me and by listening to it, you might find episodes you want to revisit or listen to for the first time if you missed them. And in case, you’ve joined us recently, it’s a useful review of the last year’s back catalogue. Finally, I encourage you to subscribe to my newsletter. I will be putting more focus on it in the coming year, and the scope of its content will be expanding. My goal is to make it a primary method of communicating with you, my audience, and gradually move away from social media. Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook

Duration:00:53:37

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165: Flicker in the Water with Bob Gonzalez

12/19/2023
A Flicker in the Water is a book about fishing I wish someone had written a long time ago. I gotta admit that due to its small size, I initially underestimated it. However, as I started reading it, I was immediately drawn to the series of fishing stories and captivated by original, real-life photos. In fact, reading this book was so pleasurable that I ended up reading it twice over, back to back. I’m not kidding you! During my conversation with the author and expert angler, Bob Gonzalez, we delved into the specifics of fishing in tropical waters. For example, you will learn how to use a second rod to keep fighting a big fish when it’s about to spool you! This episode and book are a delight for all anglers. Especially, since most of us are now in the depths of winter, so hearing fishing stories from the tropics will surely warm you up! Get "A Flicker in the Water": https://amzn.to/3RNV0jm Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Duration:00:49:37

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164: Shotgun Conservationist with Brant MacDuff

12/6/2023
The story of Brant MacDuff, the author of the book under the title “The Shotgun Conservationist: Why Environmentalists Should Love Hunting” is in many ways similar to mine. We were both born and raised in the city without any contact or access to hunting. We overcame not insignificant obstacles to get into hunting later in life and both of us decided to share this experience with others who might want to do the same but don’t know where to start. Both Brant and I also understood how important but counterintuitive the connection between hunting and wildlife conservation is. As you know, I’ve created a downloadable guide on how to get started with deer hunting in Ireland and the topic of the science of wildlife conservation is literally in the title of this podcast. Brant, achieved both of those goals in one go by writing his book. There are, of course, differences between us. For one, Brant lives in the USA where the connection between hunting and conservation is more direct than in Europe. He also started in his youth as an anti-hunter, something which I never was. Nevertheless, while reading Brant’s book and then chatting with him on this podcast, I undeniably felt that we have a lot in common. The Shotgun Conservationist is one of those books that I would definitely recommend, not only to those who want to try hunting, but also to those who are open-minded enough to explore why so many counterintuitively repeat the mantra of “hunting is conservation”. Finally, despite the realities of hunting, conservation and the public perception of hunting being different in the US compared to Europe, it fascinates me how many of those themes are shared across the globe. Enjoy our conversation and after you’ve listened to it, go ahead and buy the book using the provided link. This way you’ll not only treat yourself to a fun and thoughtful book, but you’ll also support my podcast as I will get a small commission from every sale. Of course, the price you pay won’t be affected. The Shotgun Conservationist: Why Environmentalists Should Love Hunting Subscribe to Tommy's Outdoors: Conservation and Science Newsletter Support the Podcast and Buy Me a Coffee. Recommended Books: tommysoutdoors.com/books Merch: tommysoutdoors.com/shop Follow Tommy's Outdoors on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook Tommy’s Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk Mentioned in this episode: DOWNLOAD:

Duration:01:15:52