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Changes in attitudes toward wolves before and after an inaugural public hunting and trapping season: early evidence from Wisconsin's wolf range

  • JAMIE HOGBERG (a1), ADRIAN TREVES (a1), BRET SHAW (a2) and LISA NAUGHTON-TREVES (a3)

Summary

In many areas, wildlife managers are turning to hunting programmes to increase public acceptance of predators. This study examines attitudes measured before and after a hunting and trapping season (wolf hunt) in Wisconsin (WI), USA, and casts some doubt on whether such programmes actually promote public acceptance. In Wisconsin, attitudes toward wolves (Canis lupus) were recorded before and after the inaugural regulated wolf hunt. Measuring longitudinal changes is particularly important in assessing management interventions. The attitudes of 736 previous respondents were resampled in 2013. Changes in individual responses to statements about emotions, behavioural intentions, beliefs, and attitudes toward wolves and wolf management between 2009 and 2013 were assessed using a nine-item scaled variable called ‘tolerance’. Although the majority (66%) of wolf range respondents approved of the decision to hold the hunt, the results indicate a negative trend in attitudes toward wolves among male respondents and hunters living in wolf range, both before and after the state's first legal hunt, suggesting that hunting was not associated with an increase in tolerance for the species after one year. Tolerance levels among female respondents remained stable throughout the study period.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Correspondence: Jamie Hogberg Tel: +1 651 283 7632 e-mail: jamiehogberg@gmail.com

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Changes in attitudes toward wolves before and after an inaugural public hunting and trapping season: early evidence from Wisconsin's wolf range

  • JAMIE HOGBERG (a1), ADRIAN TREVES (a1), BRET SHAW (a2) and LISA NAUGHTON-TREVES (a3)

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