Wolf conservation - wolves and humans
Attitudes towards wolves
Wolves and humans have always had a rocky relationship through history - thousands of years ago when we were much more primitive, wolves were our direct competition for food and other resources being another successful predator. Myths, fairytales, films and other more modern media have portrayed wolves as dangerous hunters who would attack humans and have made people fear them and believe they are something different from the creatures that they actually are. Realistically a positive attitude will only be possible where wolves and people can live along side each other with no conflicts between their ways of life, and the purpose of wolf conservation is to try and educate people to have a mutual respect for them to make this happen.
However some groups of humans have positive relationships with wolves and respect their skill as the hunter, so not all the relationships have been bad, even if most of them were. Native Americans thought wolves were creatures to admire; they served as models for hunting and played a significant role in the religious lives of the tribes. Powerful and courageous, wolves were seen as representatives of important natural forces or spirits. Inuit people have also known the wolf intimately as they share their homeland on the cold northern tundra with wolf packs, hunting the same prey and leading the same kind of nomadic life. They admire the wolf's dedication to the welfare of its companions, a model of social behaviour for humans as well as animals.
Who helps the wolves?
In modern day times there are increasing groups of people who aim to help support and conserve the wolf - such as the UK Wolf Conservation Trust. While there are still people who believe in the misleading myths and dangers about wolves, or those such as farmers with livestock where wolves damage their livelihood, there are now conservationists helping to change this. The aims of the Trust are as follows:
· To provide opportunities for research that may improve the lives of wolves, both captive and wild.
· To raise money to help fund wolf related conservation projects around the world.
· To provide wolf related education programmes for young people and adults.