L. David Mech "Dave"

Biographical Material

  • "MN Conservation" Video Interview
  • Minnesota 150
  • Breining, G. 2004. The far reach of David Mech. Minnesota Volunteer Jan-Feb.
  • Pringle, Laurence. 1983. Wolfman: Exploring the World of Wolves. Charles Scribner’s Son, New York.
  • Link, Mike and Kate Crowley. 1994. L. David Mech: The Wolfman Chapter 2 in Following the Pack: The World of Wolf Research. Voyaguer Press, Stillwater, MN.
  • Allen, D. 1997. Introduction. pp 13-15 In L. D. Mech . The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years with the Pack. Voyaguer Press, Stillwater, MN 144pp. (English and Hungarian).

Curriculum Vitae

Download Dave Mech's CV as a .pdf.

Education | Occupation | Websites | Research | Publications | Professional Societies | Board Memberships | Special Assignments | Patents | Reviews | Consulting Editor | Honors & Awards | Seminars | Biographical Listings | Other

Formal Education:

B.S. Degree, Conservation, Cornell University, 1958, Ithaca, NY
Ph.D. Degree, Wildlife Ecology, Purdue University, 1962, Lafayette, IN


Senior Research Scientist, GM-16, 1999 to present; Wildlife Research Biologist (GS 12-GM 15), 1969 to 1999; Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey (formerly Division of Endangered Species Research, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 8711 37th Street, SE, Jamestown, North Dakota 58401-7317. Headquartered at The Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Ave., University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108 (mechx002@umn.edu)

Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Ecology and Behavioral Biology, University of Minnesota --1979 to present, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology --1981 to present (Graduate Faculty).

Previous Positions:

Assistant Professor and Research Associate, Macalester College, 1966-1968
Research Associate, University of Minnesota, 1963-1966
Research Assistant, Purdue University, 1958-1962


Research Interests:

Wolf ecology and behavior; predator-prey relations; population regulation; social ecology

Primary Research:

Ongoing study of (1) wolf population trend and wolf-deer coactions in the Superior National Forest, Minnesota, 1968 to present, (2) wolf social behavior and prey interactions on Ellesmere Island, Canada, 1986 to present (3) wolf-elk interactions in Yellowstone National Park, 1997 to present.



  • The Wolves of Isle Royale, 1966. U. S. Govt. Printing Office, 210 pp.
  • The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. 1970. Doubleday, 384 pp. Reprinted in paperback by University of Minnesota Press, 1981.
  • Handbook of Animal Radio-Tracking. 1983. University of Minnesota Press. 108 pp.
  • The Arctic Wolf: Living With the Pack. 1988. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. 128 pp. (English, French, Italian, German)
  • The Way of the Wolf. 1991. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. 120 pp. (English, German)
  • Wolves of the High Arctic. 1992. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN 127 pp.
  • The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years With the Pack. 1997. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. 144pp. (English, Hungarian)
  • The Wolves of Denali. 1998. University of Minnesota Press. (Mech, Adams, Meier, Burch, and Dale.)
  • The Wolves of Minnesota: Howl in the Heartland. 2000. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. (Editor, and author of 6 chapters.)
  • Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. 2003. University of Chicago Press. (co-editor of book, and co-author of three chapters). 448 pp.
  • Wolves on the Hunt. Late 2014.  University of Chicago Press.  (with Doug Smith and Dan MacNulty)


Movie Films and Audio Visual Presentations:

  • Chief consultant and contributed footage to "Following the Tundra Wolf" Peace River Films, Inc. 1974.
  • "Techniques of Animal Immobilization" by U. S. Seal and L. D. Mech. 24 min., sound, color. Sponsored by World Wildlife Fund International and Project Tiger --India. 1983.
  • "Animal Immobilization --Techniques of Drug Delivery" by U. S. Seal and L. D. Mech. 1984. 20 min., sound color. Sponsored by World Wildlife Fund International and Project Tiger --India
  • Co-Narrator, Scientific Consultant, and participant in "Brother Wolf" multi-projector, sound, slide presentation. (Gold Award winner, 1987 N.Y. Film and TV Festival)
  • Scientific consultant and participant in "White Wolf," BBC/National Geographic TV documentary, 1988.
  • Chief consultant and participant in "Wolves, with Timothy Dalton," PBS TV Special, Fall 1993

Professional and Honorary Societies:

  • American Society of Mammalogists
  • The Wildlife Society - Life and Honorary Member
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Sigma Xi
  • Gamma Sigma Delta

Board Memberships:

  • Board of Directors, Minnesota Zoological Society, 1972-1980.
  • Board of Directors, Springbrook Nature Center, 1973-1976.
  • Founder, Board of Directors & Vice Chairman, International Wolf Center, 1985 to present.

Special Assignments:

  • Member, Eastern Timber Wolf Recovery Team, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1972 to present
  • Consultant, Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Team, U. S. Fish and Wildlife, 1975 to present
  • Consultant, Red Wolf Recovery Team, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1978 to present
  • Member, World Conservation Union (IUCN) Wolf Specialist Group, 1972 to present
  • Chair, World Conservation Union (IUCN) Wolf Specialist Group, 1978 to present
  • Chairman, Working Group on Bobcat, Lynx, and River Otter, U. S. Endangered Species Scientific Authority (ESSA), 1978
  • Chief Consultant, Minnesota Science Museum's major traveling exhibit "Wolves and Humans," 1983. 2.6 million viewers.
  • Contributor, Essay: "A Distant Perspective on the Future of Americans Outdoors" in Report of the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors. 1986.
  • Member, Glacier National Park Science Advisory Council, 1988-1989.
  • Participant, National Science Foundation workshop on "Research Priorities for Single Species Conservation Biology." Front Royal, VA. Nov. 13-16, 1988.
  • Consultant, Wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone and Central Idaho,
  • U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U. S. National Park Service, 1995-present.

Foreign and Major Special Assignments:

  • Kenya, Tanzania - August 1970, consult on leopard and lion radiotracking - Tsavo National Park, Serengeti Research Institute, and ABC-TV
  • Northwest Territories - July 1971 - wolf-caribou study - National Geographic Magazine
  • Italy - April 1974 - assist and advise local biologists in live- trapping, anesthetizing, radio-collaring, and radio-tracking wolves, and in setting up wolf research project - World Wildlife Fund
  • Manitoba - 1 week, September 1975, to advise and assist Canadian Wildlife Service in live-trapping, anesthetizing, radio-collaring, and radio-tracking wolves in Riding Mountain National Park
  • India - April 1976 and February 1980 with Dr. U. S. Seal, to teach radio-telemetry and animal anesthesia, World Wildlife Fund and Project Tiger (India government) and Forestry Research Institute Personnel. Under the auspices of World Wildlife Fund, Project Tiger, and USFWS. Darted and radio-tagged elephants, tigers, Asian lions, and ungulates.
  • Alaska - Several trips - to set up and advise on research on wolves, moose, and bears on Kenai National Moose Range and on wolves in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
  • Direct long-term study of wolves and prey (caribou, moose, Dall sheep), Denali National Park, February 1986 to 1997 for U.S. National Park Service.
  • U.S.S.R. - September 23 - October 8, 1978 - IUCN General Assembly meeting and arrangements for future US-USSR Exchange program on Censusing Large Mammals. February 10-24, 1979, to review wildlife censusing in USSR
  • Sweden - March 16-20, 1981, one of four guest lecturers in a full-time short course on "Predation and Competition in Vertebrate Communities" at the University of Lund.
  • Spain-Portugal - May 15-30, 1981, consulted with govt. of Portugal and Spain to help initiate a cooperative wolf project between the two countries.
  • Mexico - March 3-9, 1986, to advise Mexican authorities regarding conservation and research on the Mexican wolf.
  • Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada -Spring, summer 1986, National Geographic Magazine; summer 1987 co-produce National Geographic/BBC TV Documentary ("White Wolf."); 1-5 wk/summer, 1988-2004, for continued study of wolf social behavior and relations with prey.
  • Sweden- March 1-3, 1994, to help launch annual Scandinavian wolf symposium in Gillhov, Sweden
  • Italy - Sept. 14-15, 1994, to advise government of Tuscany about wolf management.
  • Croatia, June 6-12, 1998, to advise government about wolf conservation and management.
  • Spain, June 6-13, 1999, to advise government about wolf conservation and management.
  • Sweden, April 30-May 4, 2002, to participate in panel on conservation genetics of the Scandinavian wolf population. (Grimso Wildlife Research Station, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.)


  • No. 4,652,261, March 24, 1987 Drug-injection animal capture collar, L. D. Mech, R. C. Chapman, W. W. Cochran.
  • Mech, L. D., R. C. Chapman, W. W. Cochran, L. Simmons, and U. S. Seal.  1984.  A radio-triggered anesthetic-dart collar for recapturing large mammals.  Wildlife Society Bulletin. 12(1):69-74.
  • Mech, L. D. and E. M. Gese.  1992.  Field testing the Wildlink Capture Collar on wolves.   Wildlife Society Bulletin 20:249-256.
  • Mech, L. D., K. E. Kunkel, R. C. Chapman, T. J. Kreeger.  1990.  Field testing of commercially manufactured capture collars on wild deer.  Journal of Wildlife Management  54:297-299.

Reviewer For:


  • J. Wildl. Mgmt., J. Mammal., Wildlife Soc. Bul., Can. J. Zool., Behaviour, Can. Field Nat., Science, National Wildlife, Mammals of the World, Acta Zool. Fenn., Ecological Applications, BioScience and others.

Granting Agencies:

  • National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, Canada Council, National Institutes of Health, World Wildlife Fund International, Mardag Foundation

Consulting Editor:

  • Wildlife Monograph No. 49 - "Morphology, reproduction, dispersal, and mortality of midwestern red fox populations." Gerald L. Storm, Ronald D. Andrews, Robert L. Phillips, Richard A. Bishop, Donald B. Siniff, and John R. Tester. April 1976. 82 pages.
  • Wildlife Monograph No. 84 - "Interrelationships of wolves, prey, and man in Interior Alaska." W. C. Gasaway, R. O. Stephenson, J. L. Davis, P. E. K. Shepherd, O. E. Burris. 1984. 50 pages.

Honors and Awards:

  • Available upon request.

Seminars and Talks:

  • Currently 5-10/year

Biographical Listings:

  • American Men and Women in Science
  • Famous Personalities in the Midwest
  • Contemporary Authors
  • International Scholars Directory
  • Dictionary of International Biography
  • Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans
  • The Writers Directory
  • Who's Who in the Midwest
  • Men of Achievement
  • International Authors and Writers Who's Who
  • Who's Who in Frontiers of Science and Technology
  • Marquis Who's Who
  • International Book of Honor
  • International Directory of Distinguished Leadership
  • 5,000 Personalities of the World


Founder and Current Vice Chair, International Wolf Center, Ely, MN. (501.C3 non-profit organization for public education about wolves and wolf recovery); 9,000 members; 18 employees; 28-p.quarterly magazine International Wolf (distribution, 10,000). Web page: www.wolf.org