Title

Heterogeneity among Rural Resident Attitudes Toward Wolves

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Publication Title

Human Dimensions of Wildlife

Volume

18

Issue

4

First Page

239

Last Page

248

DOI

10.1080/10871209.2013.792022

Abstract

Rural communities are often considered a homogeneous population in resource management. Wolf management is no exception. To understand the diversity of rural attitudes toward wolves and wolf management, data were obtained through a mail questionnaire to rural residents (n = 555; 69% response rate) of southwestern Alberta. Results indicated three distinct clusters differentiated by respondents' attitudes toward: (a) wolves and fear and (b) wolf management. Cluster 1 had negative attitudes toward wolves (n = 85) and was composed of livestock producers and hunters. Cluster 2 was neutral (n = 184), and cluster 3 was positive (n = 276) toward wolves. Cluster 2 and 3 were primarily composed of non-hunters and non-livestock producers. With movement of people into rural areas with varying backgrounds the rural community now has multiple attitudinal groups and wildlife managers will need to tailor their efforts to communicate with different groups.

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