Wolves were once common throughout North America and Eurasia. But by the early twentieth century, bounties and organized hunts had drastically reduced their numbers. Today, the wolf is returning to its ancestral territories, and the “coywolf”—a smaller, bolder wolf-coyote hybrid—is becoming more common. In Return of the Wolf, author Paula Wild gathers first-hand accounts of encounters with wolves and consults with wildlife experts for suggestions on how minimize conflict, respond to aggressive wolves and coexist with the apex predator. Wild explores the latest theories on how wolves became dogs, the evolving strategies to prevent livestock predation, and why Eurasian wolves seem more aggressive toward humans than their North American cousins. She also addresses the many misconceptions about wolves: for example, that they howl when hungry, kill for pleasure and always live in packs. What is true is that a wolf possesses a howl as unique as a human fingerprint and can trot eight kilometres per hour for most of the day or night in search of prey while using earth’s magnetic field to find its way. Some scientists consider wolves’ complex social structures and family bonds closer to humans’ than those of primates. In a skillful blend of natural history, Indigenous stories and interviews with scientists and conservationists, Wild examines our evolving relationship with wolves and how society’s attitudes affect the populations, behaviour and conservation of wolves today. As a highly social, intelligent animal, the wolf is proving adept at navigating the challenges of an ever-changing landscape. But their fate remains uncertain. Wolves are adapting to humans; can humans adapt to wolves?
Once vilified as a savage beast and systematically exterminated, the gray wolf has only been restored to sustainable numbers over the past few decades. In this book, readers will discover the tragic history and the prejudice surrounding the gray wolf and learn how wolves were saved by the determined efforts of conservationists. Examining the misconceptions that caused wolves to be targeted in the past, this informative and thought-provoking text examines how the growing understanding of ecology helped save the wolf from extinction. With photographs, sidebars, and a helpful timeline, this book is sure to inspire young conservationists.
This book explores attitudes and strategies towards the return of the wild in times of ecological crisis, focusing on wolves in Europe. The contributions from a variety of disciplines discuss human encounters with wolves, engaging with traditional narratives and contemporary conflicts. Covering a range of geographical areas, the case studies featured demonstrate the tremendous impact of the return of the wolf in European societies. Wolves are a keystone species that exemplify humanity’s relation to what is called nature and their return generates powerful debates about what ‘nature’ actually is and how much it is needed or should be permitted to exist. The book considers the return of the wild as a catalyst for fundamental socio-biological changes of the world within human societies, and the various responses of humans to wolves demonstrate both our potential and limitations when it comes to multispecies communities and negotiating societal change. Managing the Return of the Wild will be relevant to a broad audience interested in discussions of social and ecological conflict today, including scholars from multispecies studies and diverse disciplines such as biology, forestry management and folklore studies.