David Mech


L. David Mech (“Dave”) is a Senior Research Scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota.  Dave holds a B.S. degree from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. degree and an honorary doctorate degree from Purdue University.  He has published some 450 articles and 11 books.  “The Wolves of Isle Royale,” republished in 2002 is currently in print.  His 1970 book, “The Wolf:  Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species,” his 2003 book, “Wolves:  Behavior, Ecology and Conservation”, and 2015 book, “Wolves on the Hunt” also remain in print.

Dave has studied wolves since 1958 in Isle Royale National Park (1958-1961), Minnesota (1964 to present), Yellowstone National Park (1995 to Present) , Denali National Park (1986-1995). Each summer from 1986 through 2010, he lived with, and studied, a pack of wolves tolerant to humans on Ellesmere Island, in Canada’s High Arctic.  He chaired the IUCN Wolf Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union from 1978 to 2013 when the group was absorbed into the Canid Specialist Group (CSG).  Dave now is advisor on wolves to the chair of the CSG.  His awards include the Wildlife Society’s Aldo Leopold Award.  Also see www.davemech.org.


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

Professional Experience

  • Senior Research Scientist, 1999 to present; U.S. Geological Survey
  • Research Wildlife Biologist, 1969 to 1999; Biological Resources Division of the USGS (formerly Division of Endangered Species Research, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Assistant Professor and Research Associate, Macalester College, 1966-1968
  • Research Associate, University of Minnesota, 1963-1966