Skip to main content
Advanced Search

Filters: Contacts: L. David Mech (X)

122 results (256ms)   

View Results as: JSON ATOM CSV
thumbnail
Information about wolf (Canis lupus) movements anywhere near the northern extreme of the species' range in the High Arctic (>75°N latitude) are lacking. There, wolves prey primarily on muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) and must survive 4 months of 24 hr/day winter darkness and temperatures reaching -53 C. The extent to which wolves remain active and prey on muskoxen during the dark period are unknown, for the closest area where information is available about winter wolf movements is >2,250 km south. We studied a pack of ≥20 wolves on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada (80°N latitude) from July 2009 through mid-April 2010 by collaring a lead wolf with a Global Positioning System (GPS)/Argos radio collar. The collar recorded...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
thumbnail
During 1987-1991, 29 to 45 radio-collared caribou cows were monitored daily during calving each year and their calves were radio-collared (n = 147 calves) to investigate calf production and survival. We determined characteristics of wolf predation on caribou calves and, utilizing information from a companion wolf study, evaluated the role of spacing by caribou cows in minimizing wolf predation on neonates (calves < 15 days old) during a period when wolf abundance doubled. On average, 49% of the neonates died, ranging from 30% in 1987 to 71% in 1991. Overall, wolves killed 22% of the neonates produced and were the most important mortality agent. Wolves preyed on calves primarily during six days following the peak...
thumbnail
“Dave, would you do another legal declaration on the wolf for us?” The weary voice on the phone belonged to Mike Jimenez, Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Management and Science Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). He was calling from Wyoming to ask me to prepare a document to address a legal challenge to the FWS’s August 2012 delisting of the wolf (Canis lupus) in Wyoming, a highly controversial move. Mike’s tone reflected the reality that — as so many wildlife biologists know and live each day — wildlife management is mainly people management. This contention could not be truer for managing any wildlife species than for managing the wolf. Dubbed “the beast of waste and desolation” by Teddy Roosevelt...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: The Wildlife Professional
thumbnail
Little is known about how often various prey animals are at risk of predation by Gray Wolves (Canis lupus). We used a system to monitor the presence during the day of two radio-collared Gray Wolves within 2 km of a radio-collared White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with a fawn or fawns in August 2013 in the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota. We concluded that the fawn or fawns were at risk of predation by at least one wolf at least daily.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Canadian Field-Naturalist
thumbnail
Because of the naturalness of National Parks and because of the public’s strong interest in the parks, the National Park Service (NPS) must gather as much information as needed to help understand and preserve the natural functioning of its ecosystems, and especially of its wildlife. The most useful technique for studying wildlife is radio-tracking, or wildlife telemetry. Radio-tracking is the technique of determining information about an animal through the use of radio signals from or to a device carried by the animal.The basic components of a traditional radio-tracking system are (1) a transmitting subsystem consisting of a radio transmitter, a power source and a propagating antenna, and (2) a receiving subsystem...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
thumbnail
Observations of wolf pack dynamics over a six-year period in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, found high rates of intraspecific strife, wolf pack dissolution and new pack formation, and the acceptance of new wolves into established packs. These observations corroborate genetic studies that found more genetic links between packs, and more genetic diversity within packs, than would be expected if most packs were composed of an unrelated breeding pair and their offspring. Longevity of packs, stability of pack territories, and the incidence of inbreeding all appear to be less than previously suggested, even in the absence of significant human disturbance. The formation of new packs by two or more local dispersers,...
thumbnail
The long-accepted conclusion that wolf density is regulated by nutrition was recently challenged, and the conclusion was reached that, at greater levels of prey biomass, social factors such as intraspecific strife and territoriality tend to regulate wolf density. We reanalyzed the data used in that study for 2 reasons: 1) we disputed the use of 2 data points, and 2) because of recognized heteroscedasticity, we used weighted-regression analysis instead of the unweighted regressions used in the original study. We concluded that the data do not support the hypothesis that wolf densities are regulated by social factors.
thumbnail
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1987) recommends re-establishment of wolves (Canis lupus) in Yellowstone National Park. Bills proposing wolf re-establishment in the Park have been introduced into the U.S. House and Senate. However, several questions have been raised about the possible effects of wolf re-establishment on other Yellowstone Park fauna, on human use of the Park and on human use of surrounding areas. Thus the proposed wolf re-establishment remains controversial.Information pertinent to some of the above questions is available from a current study of wolf ecology in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, which we began in 1986. Although...
Radio-collared wolves in the Superior National Forest that were killed by other wolves or probably killed by wolves between 1968 and 2014
thumbnail
A free-ranging Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), habituated to human presence (the author) on Ellesmere Island, Canada, learned to anticipate experimental feeding by a human, became impatient, persistent, and bold and exhibited stalking behaviour toward the food source. Only after the author offered the wolf about 90 clumps of dry soil over a period of 45 minutes in three bouts, did the wolf give up this behaviour. To my knowledge, this is the first example of extinguishing a learned response in a free-ranging wolf and provides new insight into the learning behaviour of such animals.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Canadian Field-Naturalist
thumbnail
Highlights how the International Wolf Center came from an idea to reality.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: International Wolf
thumbnail
Wolves can live almost anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, and almost everywhere they do, they are an issue. In the vast emptiness of the northern tundra or the Arabian desert, on the outskirts of a European town or in the safety of an American national park, in meager agricultural lands in India or in mountains in rich Norway or Switzerland, wolves always attract people’s attention. Wolves form a key part of many ecosystems, and they are considered charismatic creatures by most human cultures. Thus they polarize public opinion and make headlines year after year.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
thumbnail
The patterns of selection by wolves (Canis lupus) preying on moose (Alces alces), caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and Dall sheep (Ovis dalli) in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska were studied from 1986 through early 1992. Wolves and their prey are legally protected or relatively unharvested in most of the area, and wolf numbers doubled during the study. Based on remains of 294 moose, 225 caribou, and 63 sheep, wolves killed calves and old adults disproportionately, and individuals with low marrow fat, jaw necrosis, or arthritis. Seasonal trends in proportions of various species, ages, and sex of kills were found. During the winters following winters of deep snowfalls, wolves greatly increased the proportion...
thumbnail
We used VHF, GPS and satellite radiocollars to study details of long distance movements by four Minnesota wolves (Canis lupus). Number of locations during our tracking ranged from 14 to 274. Farthest distances reached ranged from 183–494 km, and minimum distances traveled (sums of line segments) ranged from 490–4251 km. Numbers of times wolves crossed state, provincial or interstate highways ranged from 1 to 215. All four of the wolves returned to or near their natal territories after up to 179 d and at least two left again.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: American Midland Naturalist
thumbnail
Simulations of space use by animals were run to determine the relationship among home range area estimates, variability, and sample size (number of locations). As sample size increased, home range size increased asymptotically, whereas variability decreased among mean home range area estimates generated by multiple simulations for the same sample size. Our results suggest that field workers should ascertain between 100 and 200 locations in order to estimate reliably home range area. In some cases, this suggested guideline is higher than values found in the few published studies in which the relationship between home range area and number of locations is addressed. Sampling differences for small species occupying...
thumbnail
Koblmuller et al. (2009) analysed molecular genetic data of the wolf in the Great Lakes (GL) region of the USA and concluded that the animal was a unique ecotype of grey wolf and that genetic data supported the population as a discrete wolf taxon. However, some of the literature that the researchers used to support their position actually did not, and additional confusion arises from indefinite use of terminology. Herein, we discuss the problems with designation of a wolf population as a taxon or ecotype without proper definition and assessment of criteria.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Molecular Ecology
thumbnail
Global Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars are increasingly used to estimate Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) kill rates. In interpreting results from this technology, researchers make various assumptions about wolf behavior around kills, yet no detailed description of this behavior has been published. This article describes the behavior of six wolves in an area of constant daylight during 30 hours, from when the pack killed a Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) calf and yearling on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, to when they abandoned the kill remains. Although this is only a single incident, it demonstrates one possible scenario of pack behavior around a kill. Combined with the literature, this observation supports placing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Canadian Field-Naturalist