Human Dimensions

2010–2013 Wolf Policy Studies

2013 Mail-back survey after the 2012 wolf-hunt

2015. Hogberg, J., Treves, A., Shaw, B., Naughton-Treves, L. Changes in attitudes toward wolves before and after an inaugural public hunting and trapping season: early evidence from Wisconsin’s wolf range. Environmental Conservation, doi 10.1017/S037689291500017X.

Focus groups on the co-dynamics of lethal control and poaching

2015. Browne-Nuñez, C., Treves, A., Macfarland, D., Voyles, Z., Turng, C. Tolerance of wolves in Wisconsin: A mixed-methods examination of policy effects on attitudes and behavioral inclinations. Biological Conservation 189: 59-71.

2009 Wolf Policy Survey

Longitudinal Analysis of Attitudes Toward Wolves

FULL PDF (237 kb) Click on the link for the peer-reviewed paper in the journal Conservation Biology. Supporting Information (93 kb) Click on the link for the Supporting Information also

A. Treves, L. Naughton-Treves, V. Shelley

  • Abstract: Understanding individual attitudes and how these predict overt opposition to predator conservation or direct, covert action against predators will help to recover and maintain them. Studies of attitudes toward wild animals rely primarily on samples of individuals at a single time point. We examined longitudinal change in individuals’ attitudes toward gray wolves (Canis lupus). In the contiguous United States, amidst persistent controversy and opposition, abundances of gray wolves are at their highest in 60 years. We used mailed surveys to sample 1892 residents of Wisconsin in 2001 or 2004 and then resampled 656 of these individuals who resided in wolf range in 2009. Our study spanned a period of policy shifts and increasing wolf abundance. Over time, the 656 respondents increased agreement with statements reflecting fear of wolves, the belief that wolves compete with hunters for deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and inclination to poach a wolf. Endorsement of lethal control of wolves by the state and public hunting of wolves also increased. Neither the time span over which respondents reported exposure to wolves locally nor self-reported losses of domestic animals to wolves correlated with changes in attitude. We predict future increases in legal and illegal killing of wolves that may reduce their abundance in Wisconsin unless interventions are implemented to improve attitudes and behavior toward wolves. To assess whether interventions change attitudes, longitudinal studies like ours are needed.
  • Attitudes to Wolves and Wolf Policy Among Ojibwe Tribal Members and Non-tribal Residents of Wisconsin’s Wolf Range

    Victoria Shelley, Adrian Treves, Lisa Naughton-Treves

    FULL PDF (152 kb) Click on the link for the peer-reviewed paper in the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife

  • Abstract: Gray wolf (Canis lupus) policy is dynamic and involves multiple stakeholders. Attitudinal surveys have historically measured stakeholder attitudes, although Native American views have rarely been studied systematically. We sent a mail-back questionnaire to members of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Ojibwe) to assess attitudes toward wolves and Wisconsin wolf policy. We com- pared their responses to a sample of non-tribal residents of Wisconsin’s wolf range. Tribal respondents held significantly more positive attitudes toward wolves, were more supportive of protective policy, and were less supportive of a public wolf harvest than non-tribal respondents. Multivariate analyses revealed several demographic factors associated with observed differences in attitudes; the most frequent and strongest predictor was whether or not a respondent was a tribal member. Ojibwe perspectives deserve attention in future wolf policy and may influence a possible wolf harvest, especially given Ojibwe treaty rights in the Great Lakes region.
  • We sent our questionnaires to two populations:

    1. Residents of Wisconsin's gray wolf population range. (Data available here)
    2. Members of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. (Data available here.)