Children’s Attitudes Towards Wolves, Bears, And Otters
This study by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) investigates the attitudes of children in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Spain toward carnivores. Specifically, respondents were asked about their attitudes toward, experiences with, and the importance of having habitat for otters, wolves, and bears.
From Study Summary:
“Positive attitudes towards all three species were recorded across all parts of the UK. Students, the future decision-makers in Europe, want to see a Europe where carnivores such as bears, wolves and otters exist. Even though teenagers showed poor knowledge levels towards all three species, particularly the brown bear, a clear majority was in favour of conserving them.”
“More than 70 per cent of teenagers thought it important to maintain wolf populations in Europe for the enjoyment of future generations, and nearly 76 per cent in the case of otters. Interestingly, there was less support for the bear, 64 per cent, even though students professed to like it more than the wolf.”
“A majority of students also believed that even if they never saw any of the three species, it is important that they exist in Europe. Again, support was greatest for the otter, and least for the bear. Perhaps surprisingly, while 61 per cent of UK teenagers agreed that it was important that wolves existed in Europe, their counterparts in wolf areas in Spain – home to approximately 2,000 wolves – demonstrated even greater support. An overwhelming 87 per cent of Spanish students from mountainous, rural areas of Zamora concurred with the statement, with four per cent disagreeing and the rest neutral. In a less rural part of Zamora where there are few or no wolves, Spanish students were more similar to those in the UK, with 62 per cent backing the existence of wolves,13 percent against and 25 percent neutral.”