The Fur-Bearers’ social landscape of wolves paper published

Picture of a wolf
A wolf (Canis lupus) walks through their habitat near Banff National Park in Alberta.
Photo by John E. Marriott /

A paper funded by and co-authored by The Fur-Bearers has landed on the pages of the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife, impacting how scholars and policymakers will view and consider wolves into the future.

The social landscape of wolves in Canada – preliminary findings was written by Drs. Stephanie Rutherford, Valli Fraser-Celin and Heather Hagen, with Lesley Fox and Aaron Hofman of The Fur-Bearers. The paper outlines results from the first national survey on how Canadians perceive wolves – and the important questions that still need to be asked.

“Despite the long-standing presence of wolves in Canada, attitudes towards wolves have been understudied at the national scale. However, such data can inform wildlife management policies and robust coexistence strategies.”

Social Landscape of Wolves in Canada, 2024, Abstract

In the research note, the authors ask three questions:

  1. Are attitudes toward wolves positive or negative in Canada?
  2. What is the role of proximity on attitudes and tolerance?
  3. What demographic characteristics matter most?

The paper shows that overall, Canadians have more positive than negative attitudes towards wolves – 29% and 41% of those surveyed had very positive and moderately positive attitudes, respectively; 5% and 15% had very negative and moderately negative attitudes, respectively. Ten percent were unsure. 

The discussion shares insights on how demographic characteristics affected responses to the questions, and what future research is necessary to delve deeper into how Canadians’ perceptions on wolves are impacted – and how that can play a role in “public outreach, wildlife management policies, and coexistence strategies.” 

The authors note that this paper provides baseline data – a foundation from which other surveys and research can launch. 


“While this study only presents preliminary results and discussion, it can be used as a foundation to guide future research on Canadians’ attitudes toward, knowledge about, and tolerance of wolves at the national scale to further inform public outreach, wildlife management policies, and coexistence strategies.”

Social Landscape of Wolves in Canada, 2024, Abstract

The full study can be read at Taylor & Francis Online, under the Human Dimensions of Wildlife journal by clicking here.

The Fur-Bearers are extremely grateful for the work of Drs. Rutherford, Fraser-Celin, and Hagen in this project. We are looking forward to more opportunities to create research that benefits coexistence efforts and other projects to support fur-bearing animals.

You can read the results of the original survey the paper is based on by clicking here (the article will open in a new window). There is a limited number of free online copies of the article, click here to be the first to read the full article (note that this link will eventually expire once all free copies are used).

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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