Denali National Park’s 2015 Research Report Available

wolfmap2015

Most recent map of Denali National Park wolf pack home ranges. (Source: NPS)

Read about current wolf monitoring programs and research at Denali National Park here:

http://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/nature/upload/2015_Current_Resource_Projects.pdf
(The wolf information starts at page 34.)

In March 2015, 52 wolves were counted in Denali, an estimated density of 2.8 wolves per 1,000 square kilometers, the lowest population density estimate since monitoring began in 1986.  The apparent decline can be blamed partly on improved monitoring techniques, but the population is also actually declining from levels seen in 2001-2003, when it was approximately 6 wolves per 1,000 square kilometers.

Nine collared adult wolves died during 2014-2015, most apparently of natural causes.  One adult was legally shot by a trapper outside of the park.  One wolf was caught in a snare set outside the park.  In March 2015, two additional wolves were legally shot by a hunter outside the park near the Stampede Trail.

Since 2010, trapping has been allowed in all areas bordering the park.  In that same year, Denali National Park began a study of wolf movements, wolf survival, and wolf viewing opportunities along the Denali Park Road.  They plan to use the information gathered to inform the National Park Service concerning how wolf management practices outside the park boundaries can affect wolf populations (and thus wolf sightings) inside the park.  Learn more about the Denali Wolf Viewing Project, which helps measure how often wolves are sighted in the park, here.

13 wolves (11 new, 2 recollars) were caught and radio collared in March 2015.  These wolves were fitted with newly-designed radio collars with accelerometers which enable researchers to map the animals’ activity (such as walking, running, or resting).  Some of the research done to create these collars was done at Wolf Park!

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