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International Journal of Wilderness


WILD Foundation

Publication Date



Iconic wildlife species such as grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, and wolverines are often associated with wilderness. Wilderness may provide some of the last, and best, remaining places for such species because wilderness can offer long-term legislated protection, relatively large areas, and remoteness (Mattson 1997). Indeed, the word wilderness in its original form literally means “place of wild beasts” (Nash 1982). Despite this natural fit between wilderness and wildlife, simply drawing a boundary around an area such as wilderness does not assure the protection and persistence of wildlife either inside the area or across the broader landscape (Landres et al. 1998). Only by understanding where such species occur and how their populations are faring can we know if wilderness is aiding in the role of sustaining wildlife

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