Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Washington
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Washington Project

Integrating social tolerance into wolf habitat suitability models

September 2022 - December 2024


Participating Agencies

  • USGS Cooperative Research Unit

As gray wolves (Canis lupus) recolonize Washington state, they provoke strong, polarized responses among the state’s diverse human communities. While numerous studies have investigated the unique reaction of people to wolves and wolf management, managing wolves and human-wolf interactions remains challenging, and new methods in the environmental social sciences offer great promise in revealing patterns and supporting management. In this study, we will work with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in three new methodological domains that have been urgently called for but rarely applied in the scientific literature. These domains are 1) longitudinal studies of attitudes and perspectives over time in an area experiencing recolonization; 2) mapping social phenomena to complement ecological understandings of habitat suitability and connectivity; and 3) including robust understandings of attitudes and values in science communication. Taken together, these methods can offer insights at local and broad scales and help identify systems under stress and prioritize management. The support provided by this funding will train a graduate student investigator in this important but understudied research domain and will directly lead to the production of a dissertation chapter.

Presentations Presentation Date
Volski, Lara, Anne Beaudreau, and Alex McInturff. "People and wolves in the Columbia River Gorge: Putting local perspectives into dialogue with conservation efforts." North American Congress in Conservation Biology. Vancouver, Canada, 2024. June 2024