Hunters as Stewards of Wolves in Wisconsin and the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA
July 2, 2019
Regulated hunting may help conserve wildlife. Advocates argue hunters will champion conservation and generate revenue for management, regulation will promote sustained, stable wildlife populations, and conflicts with game species will diminish. Applying this notion to predators such as the wolf presents difficulties because of widespread human intolerance for the species. We assessed potential hunter stewardship of wolves by measuring attitudes of hunters and nonhunters in three surveys spanning 2001–2007 among 2,320 residents of four states in wolf range. Two U.S. states implemented hunting and several more are contemplating it, all as part of long-term wolf conservation. At the time of our surveys, majorities supported hypothetical wolf hunting depending on the justifications used. Likely wolf hunters showed little inclination to conserve wolves. However some predict such attitudes might change if they were allowed to hunt wolves.
Author(s): Adrian Treves & Kerry A. Martin