Cultural Perceptions of Wolves and Impacts on Conservation

The Wolf Conservation Center hosted an informative webinar on September 14, 2023 about the historical perceptions of red wolves across their native range. Sunny Murphy, the WCC’s Research Associate, discussed cultural perceptions of wolves and how these beliefs have impacted wolf populations along the eastern United States.

Conservation is as much about people as it is wildlife, so it is imperative that we understand the roots of individual and community beliefs and social systems in order to better inform our coexistence and recovery efforts.


Jazmin “Sunny” Murphy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Management (concentration: Fish and Wildlife Management) at American Public University. Her research focuses on the intersections of culture, ideology, legislation, economics and land use with canid ecology, with special emphasis on Black and Indigenous communities in the United States. By combining the study of coyote behavior and cognition with these intersections, she aims to further develop nonlethal adaptive management techniques that are equitable across cultures and species.