"The wolves represent, more than any other animal, the wild side of life and freedom that we have lost and now seek to recover with a zeal that only increases the artificiality of what we achieve. It is they who make us feel and see the way that we strayed ... " (Foreword by Francisco Fonseca in "Wolves. ECR")
The economic losses associated with wolf predation on livestock have enhanced the dark symbolism that is associated with the wolf but the wolf’s impact on livestock can be largely attributed to man’s mismanagement of natural resources, which has led to the scarcity of the wolf’s natural prey.
The religious and agro-pastoral mountain communities of northwest Portugal are still relatively isolated allowing the survival of a rich cultural heritage based on the inhabitants’ relationship with the wolf. This is expressed in various legends, myths, beliefs and traditions, which are not found elsewhere in Europe. An example of the cultural heritage surrounding the wolf are fojos - stone monuments built to trap the wolves in the mountains of northern Iberia which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Other traditions include the use of a potion made from the wolf’s trachea, "neck of the wolf," to cure a disease called "lobagueira" in the domestic pig.