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A HISTORY AND COMPARISON OF WOLF CONSERVATION IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES AND ITALY

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Abstract This thesis is derived from the conservation biology field of study and seeks to chronicle and characterize the history of wolf conservation in the US, with a focus on

Abstract This thesis is derived from the conservation biology field of study and seeks to chronicle and characterize the history of wolf conservation in the US, with a focus on post-ESA listing and present day events. The compelling question this thesis seeks to address is how to make long-term wolf conservation effective and feasible in the United States. An overview of wolf life history is provided, as well as a brief overview of early wolf-human interactions in Europe and the US, before reviewing the following regions in the US: Yellowstone, Idaho/Montana/Wyoming, Alaska, and Arizona. The trend identified in all regions is described as a hostile political atmosphere with particular resentment by some stakeholders towards the federal enforcement of wolf conservation via the ESA. A comparative section on Italy is provided in contrast to this US theme, as Italy tends to have a much more relaxed attitude towards wolf conservation. For success in the future of wolf conservation three suggestions are made. First, efforts to protect wolves through federal regulation are to be dismissed. Second, efforts should instead focus on education of key demographics regarding responsible environmental management and wolf management specifically. Thirdly, conservationists must actively strive to remarket the wolf as a symbol of the freedom of the west as opposed to the symbol of Washington's encroachment on state's rights.

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  • 2014-12