Unpacking Facts & Myths

“Wolves will cause problems wherever they go." 

"Wolves are the solution to all the environmental problems!”

Neither are totally true!

Top predators like wolves evoke strong emotions in people. They are both loved and hated, respected and feared. Our perceptions of wolves are influenced by personal experiences, as well as our culture, education, media, beliefs, and relationship with nature. Our mixed and often opposing perceptions about wolves have inspired decades of scientific research to uncover the facts about this complex species, its role in an ecosystem, and its relationship with people.
The take-away message: It’s complicated!

What’s the difference between perceptions, scientific facts, and perspectives?


Perceptions are based on your personal interpretations and understanding of a given situation, person, or thing. An inaccurate perception is called a misperception or myth. Perceptions can be influenced by past experiences, education, culture, values, and beliefs.

Scientific Fact

Scientific facts are observations that have been repeatedly confirmed and that are accepted as “true” from overwhelming evidence. In science, the “truth” is never final and can change based on new evidence.


Perspectives are the lenses from which the world is viewed; in other words, different points of view. Perspectives affect how someone views themselves, others, and everything around them. Perspective can be influenced by gender, race, culture, age, job, place of residence, and many other factors.

Questions to Consider

  • What’s the difference between perceptions, scientific facts, and perspectives? 
  • Why is important to distinguish between these when thinking about any controversial issue? 
  • Why is it important to distinguish between these when thinking about the issue of wolf reintroduction?

Throughout the Quest, you will be examining perceptions, facts, and perspectives about the wolf.
Keep these concepts in mind as you UNCOVER and EXPLORE the complex issue of wolf reintroduction.

“It is the perception of our reality that controls our perspective. Our perspectives come from our perceptions and our perceptions are created from our beliefs.”

"Perception vs. Perspective" from the John Maxwell Team.