L. David Mech

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L. David Mech
Born (1937-01-18) 18 January 1937 (age 85)
Auburn, New York, United States
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Biology, Ecology
Institutions University of Minnesota,
U.S. Geological Survey
Alma mater Cornell University,
Purdue University
Known for Wolf ecology and behavior research

Lucyan David "Dave" Mech (born January 18, 1937) is an American wolf expert, a senior research scientist for the U.S. Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (since 1970), and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. He has researched wolves since 1958 in places such as Minnesota, Canada, Italy, Alaska, Yellowstone National Park, and on Isle Royale.

Mech is the founder of the International Wolf Center and sits on its Board of Directors as Vice Chair. The project to create the facility, which he started in 1985, was a natural outgrowth of his wolf research as well as his ambition to educate people about the nature of wolves that they may come to respect the creature through understanding.

He has published ten books and numerous articles about wolves and other wildlife, the most famous of these being his books The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species (1970, University of Minnesota Press) and Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation which he co-edited with Luigi Boitani (2003, University of Chicago Press). The 1997 book The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years with the Pack received an Honorable Mention by the National Outdoor Book Award (Nature and the Environment category). His latest book is Wolves on the Hunt: the Behavior of Wolves Hunting Wild Prey.


One of the first publications on the subject of the Wolves on the Island of Isle Royale was the book "The Wolves of Isle Royale" by Mech which led to the prominence of both the author and the topic. The book was published in 1966 by the Department of the Interior, having evolved from his doctoral thesis.

Controversy and Criticism

David Mech is an avid hunter and trapper of wildlife, on his website, he lists mink trapping as one of his personal interests.[1] His professional opinion has been brought under scrutiny many times. His recommendation for wolf management has been criticized to be strongly influenced by ranchers, cattleman and hunters.



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