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Human attitudes towards wolves, a matter of distance
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2007 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 137, no 4, 610-616 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that distance is an important factor affecting attitudes towards wolves, i.e. people living far from wolf territories have more positive attitudes towards wolf conservation than those living within or close to wolf territories. We used multiple regression (an ordered probit model) with both socio-economic variables and information about the respondents' distance to the nearest wolf territory. We found that favourable attitudes towards wolf conservation were positively associated with distance to the nearest wolf territory. The variable distance to the nearest wolf territory affected attitudes just as much as the variables of membership of nature conservation organisations, being a hunter, owning livestock, or owning a hunting dog. This was true even on the micro-level, i.e. people living in wolf territories had a more negative attitude towards conservation of wolves than people living just outside. Furthermore, we suggest that attitudes towards wolves are more likely a result of indirect experience than direct experience of wolf presence. Our findings are important when interpreting studies of human attitudes towards conservation of controversial species in general and large carnivores in particular, and should be used when designing future surveys of human attitudes towards conservation and management initiatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Elsevier, 2007. Vol. 137, no 4, 610-616 p.
Keyword [en]
carnivore management, location, wolves, attitudes, Canis lupus
National Category
Ecology Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118201DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2007.03.023ISI: 000247918700013OAI: diva2:918865
Available from: 2016-04-12 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-04-12Bibliographically approved

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