USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Biological Archives

 RSS Feeds

RSS Publications
RSS USGS News Releases
What is RSS?

Publication Search

Search NPWRC Publications

L. David Mech, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Gabbert Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Phone: (651) 649-5231
Fax: (651) 649-5233
Email NPWRC Staff
Research (Principal Investigator),
Wolf Project (Team Leader),
Minnesota Office

Photo of Dave Mech.


  • Wolf ecology and behavior
  • Predator-prey relations
  • Population regulation
  • Wolf social ecology
  • Radio-tracking

Current Projects:

  • Role of prey nutrition in buffering wolf depredation on game animals and livestock in a restored population
  • Determining factors affecting the forecasting of trends in restored wolf populations
  • Determining rate and causes of elk mortality in Yellowstone National Park
  • Ecology of the Canada Lynx in Northeastern Minnesota


  • Ph.D., Purdue University, Lafayette, IN (1962)
  • B.S., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1958)

Professional Experience:

  • Wildlife Research Biologist and Senior Research Scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Biological Service, National Biological Survey, and the U. S. Geological Survey, with administration from Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD; Mid-Continent Ecological Science Center, Ft. Collins, CO; and Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND
  • 1968-present:  Studying wolf population trends and wolf-deer coactions in the Superior National Forest, Minnesota
  • 1986-present:  Studying wolf social behavior and musk-ox and arctic hare populations on Ellesmere Island, Canada
  • 1995-present:  Studying wolf-prey coactions in Yellowstone National Park
  • 1986-1995:  Studied wolf-population trends and wolf-caribou coactions in Denali National Park, Alaska

Selected Professional Achievements:

  • Honorary Doctor of Agriculture, Purdue University (May 2005)
  • Aldo Leopold Award for Distinguished Service to Wildlife Conservation, The Wildlife Society (March 23, 1993)
  • Professional Award of Merit, North Central Section, The Wildlife Society (1988)
  • The Minnesota Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of Wildlife Management, Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society (1986)
  • Gulf Oil Professional Conservationist Award (1984)
  • Terrestrial Wildlife Publication Award, The Wildlife Society (1972)

Selected Publications:

Mech, L. D. and L. Boitani (Eds). 2003. Wolves: ecology, behavior and conservation. University of Chicago Press. 448pp. (co-editor, and co-author of three chapters) (

Mech, L. D., D. W. Smith, K. M. Murphy, and D. R. MacNulty. 2001. Winter severity and wolf predation on a formerly wolf-free elk herd. J. Wildl. Mgmt. 65(4):998-1003.

Mech, L. D. (Ed). 2000. The wolves of Minnesota: howl in the heartland. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. (Editor, and author of 6 chapters.)

Mech, L. D., L. .G. Adams, T. J. Meier, J. W. Burch, and B. W. Dale. 1998. The wolves of Denali. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. 227pp. (

Mech, L. D. 1997. The arctic wolf: ten years with the pack. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. 144pp. (English, Hungarian)

Mech, L. D. 1995. The challenge and opportunity of recovering wolf populations. Cons. Biol. 9(2):270-278. Reprinted in French in Faune De Provence 17:33-43, (1997).

Mech, L. D. 1992. Wolves of the high arctic. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN 127 pp.

Mech, L. D. 1991, The way of the wolf. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. 120 pp. (English, German)

Mech, L. D., M. E. Nelson, and R. E. McRoberts. 1991. Maternal and grandmaternal nutrition effects on deer weights and vulnerability to wolf predation. J. Mammal. 72(1):146-151.

Mech, L. D. 1988. The arctic wolf: living with the pack. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. 128 pp. (English, French, Italian, German).

Mech, L. D. 1983. Handbook of animal radio-tracking. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. 108pp.

Nelson, M. E., and L. D. Mech. 1981. Deer social organization and wolf depredation in northeastern Minnesota. Wildlife Monographs No. 77. July 1981. 53pp.

Fritts, S. H., and L. D. Mech. 1981. Dynamics, movements, and feeding ecology of a newly protected wolf population in northwestern Minnesota. Wildlife Monographs No. 80. October 1981. 79pp.

Mech, L. D. 1970. The wolf: ecology and behavior of an endangered species. Doubleday, 384pp. Reprinted in paperback by University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. 1981.

Mech, L. D. 1966. Wolves of Isle Royale. U. S. Govt. Printing Office, 210pp. Reprinted 2002, University Press of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Additional Information:

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 07:31:42 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]