Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How does the price of cheese influence perceptions of wolves?

Date:
March 20, 2013
Source:
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Summary:
Relationships between humans and wolves are often linked to conflicts with livestock breeding activities. Contrary to a widespread belief among western environmentalists, these conflicts don’t only occur only in western countries, even though their intensity often appears lower in other places. Indeed, in many countries, livestock breeding activities have been dealing with wolves for centuries and rural societies have developed paths to coexistence through protection of livestock and control of wolf populations.

Macedonia, Nicolas Lescureux.
Credit: NINA

Relationships between humans and wolves are often linked to conflicts with livestock breeding activities. Contrary to a widespread belief among western environmentalists, these conflicts don't only occur only in western countries, even though their intensity often appears lower in other places. Indeed, in many countries, livestock breeding activities have been dealing with wolves for centuries and rural societies have developed paths to coexistence through protection of livestock and control of wolf populations.

However, the world is changing, and rural societies are facing changes that can affect the way they relate to large carnivores like wolves. It is particularly obvious in countries which went through dramatic and rapid transition processes after the fall of USSR and Yugoslavia.

Researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research conducted ethnological investigations based on participant observation and semi-structured interviews on human-wolf relationships in Kyrgyzstan (2003-2007) and Republic of Macedonia (2007-2008) which both have been subjected to rapid social changes.

The investigations highlighted that the institutional and economic crisis following the collapse of the USSR and Yugoslavia had a strong impact on livestock breeding and hunting activities which were highly dependent on State support. Wolf hunting was also affected in Kyrgyzstan as economic and logistical means supporting intensive wolf hunting were no longer available after the collapse of the USSR.

The studies revealed that these changes in hunting and husbandry practices have led to modifications of the human -- wolf interactions as well as of the social and environmental contexts of human -- wolf relationships.

In Kyrgyzstan, wolves used to be seen as an intelligent alter ego of humans and were regarded as respectable enemies that had to be controlled in order to protect the collective flocks. Now they are perceived more as a threat to the Kyrgyz's main capital in times of crisis, i.e. the flock they are trying to increase, and as an animal that should be eliminated.

In Macedonia livestock breeding is a weakened activity facing economic difficulties. Livestock breeders are tending to reduce the size of their flocks and they feel socially isolated in rural areas depopulated by rural abandonment. In this context, wolves are not perceived as the main threat to their future, but as an additional threat which can be eliminated since it is of no obvious use.

Thus, changes following the collapse of USSR and Yugoslavia have resulted in an increased vulnerability of local people to wolf damage and a concomitant reduced acceptance for wolves. All these changes contribute to changes in the perception of the wolf and to an increase in the perception of conflicts, even in countries where humans and wolves have continuously coexisted.

The results show that the human-wolf relationship is dynamic, as well as highlighting the necessity of understanding the broader socio-economical context within which human-wildlife conflicts are embedded, and the challenge pastoralists are facing in a changing world.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicolas Lescureux, D John C Linnell. The effect of rapid social changes during post-communist transition on perceptions of the human - wolf relationships in Macedonia and Kyrgyzstan. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice, 2013; 3 (1): 4 DOI: 10.1186/2041-7136-3-4

Cite This Page:

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. "How does the price of cheese influence perceptions of wolves?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320095113.htm>.
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. (2013, March 20). How does the price of cheese influence perceptions of wolves?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320095113.htm
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. "How does the price of cheese influence perceptions of wolves?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320095113.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins