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The Wolves of Denali

2003
Authors:

L. David Mech, Layne G. Adams, Thomas J. Meier, John W. Burch, and Bruce W. Dale

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The definitive study of this important wolf community—now in paperback.

For over nine years the wolves in Alaska’s Denali National Park have been the subject of intense research by a group of renowned scientists led by L. David Mech. The results of their work comprise the most comprehensive study on a population of wolves and their prey ever available, now made public in this accessible, fascinating and extensively illustrated book.

Mech, Adams, Meier, Burch, and Dale have taken wolf biology to a new level. Mech’s pioneering The Wolf helped to take our understanding beyond the wolf as a reflection of human character, to draw the wolf from the shadows of myth and place it in the realm of biology. His subsequent studies have deepened our understanding of the wolf as an ecological force and as the expression of other ecological forces. The Wolves of Denali urges us to see that these ecological forces are more complicated, more varied over time, less hospitable to easy generalizations. Predation has always seemed simple, but studies like this one show it to be unexpectedly complex.

Peter Steinhart, author of The Company of Wolves

For more than nine years the wolves in Alaska’s Denali National Park were the subject of intense research by a group of renowned scientists led by L. David Mech. The result of their work is the most comprehensive study of a population of wolves and their prey ever available. This accessible, fascinating, and extensively illustrated book will appeal to researchers, general readers, and wolf enthusiasts across the world.

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L. David Mech is a senior research scientist with the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Layne G. Adams is a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

Thomas J. Meier is a wolf recovery biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Kalispell, Montana.

John W. Burch is a wildlife biologist for Gates of the Arctic National Park and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve in Alaska.

Bruce W. Dale is a wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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As an interesting, readable picture of dynamic interactions among subarctic wolves, their prey, and the environment, this book is a success.

Journal of Wildlife Management

The Wolves of Denali will be an important source of raw information for years to come.

Conservation Biology

The Wolves of Denali is in many ways a scientific work of art. It takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the world of wolves. The book is a rich combination of scientific data and fascinating—and sometimes poignant—stories based on factual observations.

International Wolf

Alaska’s Denali National Park contains the world’s least disturbed mainland wolf population. The Wolves of Denali covers all aspects of wolf ecology, including natural history, pack organization and function, and the wolves’ special relationship with Denali’s caribou herds. The meshing of a concurrent longitudinal study of the park’s caribou with the wolf research lends added value. The writing is clear, the chapters are well organized, and the book is replete with photographs.

Library Journal

Mech, Adams, Meier, Burch, and Dale have taken wolf biology to a new level. Mech’s pioneering The Wolf helped to take our understanding beyond the wolf as a reflection of human character, to draw the wolf from the shadows of myth and place it in the realm of biology. His subsequent studies have deepened our understanding of the wolf as an ecological force and as the expression of other ecological forces. The Wolves of Denali urges us to see that these ecological forces are more complicated, more varied over time, less hospitable to easy generalizations. Predation has always seemed simple, but studies like this one show it to be unexpectedly complex.

Peter Steinhart, author of The Company of Wolves

This engaging account of a timeless wolf-prey system is a landmark in wildlife ecology, a unique blend of first-rate science and wonderful stories. The scope of this study matches the landscape—extraordinary. This is field biology at its best, in a magnificent natural ecosystem where the lives of wolves and their prey depend, respectively, on finding and avoiding each other. Because neither is completely successful, the system persists and forms the basis of a rich wild community. The Wolves of Denali is the most comprehensive study of wolf ecology to be found between the two covers of any book. Every reader will learn much from this volume, while becoming engrossed by the fascinating details of the life and death of wolves and their prey.

Rolf O. Peterson, author of The Wolves of Isle Royale