In 1957, the esteemed wildlife biologist Durward Allen gave a young Dave Mech the opportunity to study a new population of wolves on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale. Fifty years later, L. David Mech is still out there in the wild, observing wolves and telling the life story of one of our continent’s premier predators.
In 1986 he began an ongoing field study of an arctic wolf population on Ellesmere Island, some 600 miles from the North Pole. He gained unprecedented access to the den life, and still counts his summers on Ellesmere as a highlight of what has been a remarkable career in the field: “Hundred of miles north of Hudson Bay…I stood alone in the High Arctic — surrounded by wolves.”
pictured above: L. David Mech, and his books The Wolves of Denali, The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years with the Pack
Along with his early ground-breaking book, The Wolves of Isle Royale, David Mech is the author and editor of several more volumes on the wolf, including:
Three by Mech: The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species, The Way of the Wolf, Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, & Conservation
For much, much more on the life and work of David Mech (pronounced Meech) be sure to visit his website.
Plus, there is an active blogsite devoted to Wolves of the High Arctic: Research on the Arctic Wolves of Ellesmere Island — check it out!
Arctic wolf and pup — photo by L. David Mech
For more on wolves and wolf-related books, please link back to an earlier Land Library post!