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Fear of the Wolf: Are Human-Wildlife Conflicts Actually Human-Human Feuds?

In: Society & Animals
Authors:
Lisa Märcz Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society, Università della Svizzera italiana Lugano Switzerland

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2224-1839
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Michael Gibbert Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society, Università della Svizzera italiana Lugano Switzerland

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5483-6765
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Abstract

This qualitative study explores the opinions of people who criticize the presence of wolves in Germany to understand what lies behind their concerns. It provides an intimate insight into the lives and fears of people and their relation to wolves and contributes to understanding the less considered critics of wolf management. By discussing the links between a fear of wolves, rural identity, and perceptions of nature, this paper proposes to explain how a human-wolf coexistence could still function for those who fail to be included in wolf management endeavors if wolf management added a social guideline on the basis of the presented problems. While a fear of wolves is generally ingrained in German society and wolves pose a real threat to farmed animals, for many people it is dysfunctional interhuman relations that pose a challenge in their coexistence with wolves, and less so the wolves themselves.

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