Research Topic

New Century Wolf Conservation and Conflict Management

About this Research Topic

The last century witnessed wolves move from persecution and extermination to restoration and protection worldwide. Some of the same management agencies that once offered bounties for dead wolves are now responsible for protecting and sustaining wolf populations. The worldview of wolves is moving from ignorance and folklore to detailed insight and intimate natural history knowledge. Western valuation of wildlife, including wolves, is shifting from utilitarian domination that treats wildlife as a resource to be used for human benefit to mutualism that views wildlife as part of a biotic community with inherent value deserving of consideration.

Still, wolves evoke strong and often polarizing reactions of love and hate, and are involved in intense conservation conflicts. Wolves create challenging management situations because they kill livestock and pets, prey upon wild ungulates that are also deeply valued, illicit fear, and threaten and kill humans (albeit rarely). Conflicts with wolves are often exacerbated because to (certain) humans wolves have become de facto symbols of, for example, reconciliation, wilderness, invasion, disease, or government overreach. As a consequence, the status of wolves still ranges from full to no legal protection resulting in a patchwork of management from regional to global scales. Where wolves can live successfully is still restricted by habitat loss and intolerance.

What are the keys to wolf conservation? Answering this question is pressing because the legal status and management authority for wolves is shifting in some regions, which creates management options. Additionally, there is an increasingly complex understanding of the ecological importance of wolves, which contributes to the valuation of wolves and is a primary rationale for their continued restoration and conservation. How can this understanding contribute to more efficient and effective conflict management?

We invite submissions to create an article collection focused on 21st-century wolf conservation and conflict management. Our goal is to create a forum for relevant discussion around this theme and gather novel open-access studies, enabling readers to be informed about research that makes a difference in sustaining wolf populations and managing wolf-human conflict. Further, wolves inhabit diverse ecoregions across socio-cultural landscapes that provide this topic with a unique opportunity to consolidate studies that can provide comparative insights into human-carnivore relationships worldwide.

We are especially interested in submissions from early- and mid-career researchers that represent a diverse and global contribution. We are most interested in original research submissions (including meta-analyses) focused on wherever wolves occur and from multiple models of management. A limited number of review articles will also be considered.


Keywords: attitudes, breeder loss, canid, Canis lupus, carnivore, coexistence, conflict, control, depredation, endangered species, ethics, exploitation, grey wolf, harvest, hunting, indigenous, livestock, management, mortality, national park, protected area


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The last century witnessed wolves move from persecution and extermination to restoration and protection worldwide. Some of the same management agencies that once offered bounties for dead wolves are now responsible for protecting and sustaining wolf populations. The worldview of wolves is moving from ignorance and folklore to detailed insight and intimate natural history knowledge. Western valuation of wildlife, including wolves, is shifting from utilitarian domination that treats wildlife as a resource to be used for human benefit to mutualism that views wildlife as part of a biotic community with inherent value deserving of consideration.

Still, wolves evoke strong and often polarizing reactions of love and hate, and are involved in intense conservation conflicts. Wolves create challenging management situations because they kill livestock and pets, prey upon wild ungulates that are also deeply valued, illicit fear, and threaten and kill humans (albeit rarely). Conflicts with wolves are often exacerbated because to (certain) humans wolves have become de facto symbols of, for example, reconciliation, wilderness, invasion, disease, or government overreach. As a consequence, the status of wolves still ranges from full to no legal protection resulting in a patchwork of management from regional to global scales. Where wolves can live successfully is still restricted by habitat loss and intolerance.

What are the keys to wolf conservation? Answering this question is pressing because the legal status and management authority for wolves is shifting in some regions, which creates management options. Additionally, there is an increasingly complex understanding of the ecological importance of wolves, which contributes to the valuation of wolves and is a primary rationale for their continued restoration and conservation. How can this understanding contribute to more efficient and effective conflict management?

We invite submissions to create an article collection focused on 21st-century wolf conservation and conflict management. Our goal is to create a forum for relevant discussion around this theme and gather novel open-access studies, enabling readers to be informed about research that makes a difference in sustaining wolf populations and managing wolf-human conflict. Further, wolves inhabit diverse ecoregions across socio-cultural landscapes that provide this topic with a unique opportunity to consolidate studies that can provide comparative insights into human-carnivore relationships worldwide.

We are especially interested in submissions from early- and mid-career researchers that represent a diverse and global contribution. We are most interested in original research submissions (including meta-analyses) focused on wherever wolves occur and from multiple models of management. A limited number of review articles will also be considered.


Keywords: attitudes, breeder loss, canid, Canis lupus, carnivore, coexistence, conflict, control, depredation, endangered species, ethics, exploitation, grey wolf, harvest, hunting, indigenous, livestock, management, mortality, national park, protected area


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 May 2021 Abstract
25 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 May 2021 Abstract
25 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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