The "popularity" of wolves

Discuss wolves (news, sightings, etc.).

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The "popularity" of wolves

Post by Koa » Thu May 12, 2016 4:26 pm

The original discussion regarding wolf popularity was started here.

Before participating in this discussion or venturing any further, remember to be civil on this thread. These kinds of discussion threads are not about proving who is right or who is wrong, but mainly to encourage healthy and substantial discussion regarding today's matters and views that surround wolves, so that others may take in and consider not just their own opinion, but fellow users' opinions as well.

The question: Why are wolves so "popular" compared to other animals, and what do you think has contributed to this popularity? What has heightened it? Granted, not everyone views wolves in a favorable light, and where wolves are considered "popular" or viewed in this light may not be the case for other areas of the globe. With that being said, it's hard to ignore the amount of attention wolves receive, particularly in Western cultures through the advocacy of environmental organizations and Facebook groups alike, or through passionate, wolf-loving artists on sites like deviantART.

How do you think the "popularity" of wolves has affected conservation efforts of wolves? In your opinion, is the "popular" factor a negative or positive influence (or both) on the conservation and management of wolves?

A broader discussion regarding the world's perception of wolves can be found on the thread, "The world's view on wolves today".

Other discussion topics:
"Are today's wolves preserved too much or not?"
"Mexican gray wolves : A Destined Failure or Eventual Success"

(I encourage everyone to visit these old threads; feel free to revive them and discuss!)

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La Striata
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Re: The "popularity" of wolves

Post by La Striata » Fri May 13, 2016 2:52 pm

Anthropomorphism, pure and simple, originating from Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf. It wasn't the first book to portray wolves positively (Ernest Thompson Seton and Jack London did that), but it set the groundwork for showing wolves as helpless perpetual victims with human emotions and sensibilities.

Frankly, I don't think this was necessary in order to improve the image of wolves. Seton's works showed that wolves weren't the monsters of mythology, but at the same time didn't romanticise them so sickeningly. It took a proven compulsive liar like Mowat to turn what should have been a re-evaluation of wolf-centered attitudes into a wolf-obsessed "personality cult".
I cannot see that wolves are in any way nobler in character than hyenas- Frederick Selous

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