Wolves were once common throughout North America and Eurasia. But by the early twentieth century, bounties and organized hunts had drastically reduced their numbers. Today, the wolf is returning to its ancestral territories, and the “coywolf”—a smaller, bolder wolf-coyote hybrid—is becoming more common. In Return of the Wolf, author Paula Wild gathers first-hand accounts of encounters with wolves and consults with wildlife experts for suggestions on how minimize conflict, respond to aggressive wolves and coexist with the apex predator.
Wild explores the latest theories on how wolves became dogs, the evolving strategies to prevent livestock predation, and why Eurasian wolves seem more aggressive toward humans than their North American cousins. She also addresses the many misconceptions about wolves: for example, that they howl when hungry, kill for pleasure and always live in packs. What is true is that a wolf possesses a howl as unique as a human fingerprint and can trot eight kilometres per hour for most of the day or night in search of prey while using earth’s magnetic field to find its way. Some scientists consider wolves’ complex social structures and family bonds closer to humans’ than those of primates.
In a skillful blend of natural history, Indigenous stories and interviews with scientists and conservationists, Wild examines our evolving relationship with wolves and how society’s attitudes affect the populations, behaviour and conservation of wolves today. As a highly social, intelligent animal, the wolf is proving adept at navigating the challenges of an ever-changing landscape. But their fate remains uncertain. Wolves are adapting to humans; can humans adapt to wolves?
Return of the Wolf is a timely, important and much needed book. Wild explores diverse perspectives of the often troubled relationships between wolves and humans from around the world and provides insights into ways we can prevent conflict and share the landscape with this amazing predator.
“The wolves that appear in Wild’s impressive new book are complex, intelligent and fascinating animals … This book will be a pleasure for anyone who loves the outdoors or wildlife, and a useful corrective to the myths that surround the wolf.”
"Replete with unforgettable imagery and brilliantly rendered from beginning to end, this astonishing book goes a long way to inform, update, and reshape our perceptions of wolves and awaken us to our role in determining their fate."
Paula Wild takes us on an in-depth and fascinating journey through the dualities of hatred and devotion, fear and fascination that for so long have shaped our haunted relationship with wolves. If we fear what we do not understand, then this well researched and insightful book will take us closer to understanding and, hopefully, to compassion for a species maligned for far too long.
Wolves are possibly the most amazingly wonderful animals. They are certainly the most irrationally hated. Paula Wild helps set the record straight by helping us know the real wolf. This is important because wolves belong, because humans and wolves can coexist, and because we must learn to wage peace with them.
Want to know where we stand with wolves and where they stand with us? Read Return of the Wolf. You will get an up to date, well researched account of wolf ecology that doesn’t lose the heart of wolves as you learn about them.