Denali National Park Wolf Population Survey Report (Spring 2015)

Denali National Park and Preserve has released their Spring 2015 Wolf Monitoring Report

The five-page report can be downloaded in PDF at the link below, we encourage you to read it. Here are some important excerpts:

“The total of 52 wolves (including the uncollared pack) counted in March 2015 produced an estimated density of 2.8 wolves per 1,000 square kilometers, which is the lowest density estimate since monitoring began in 1986″ (emphasis added)

“…The others were a collared male and an uncollared female from the East Fork pack that were legally shot by a hunter outside of the park near the Stampede Trail. GPS data provided by the male wolf’s collar indicated that he had spent most of the week before his death scavenging at a bait station established by a bear hunter within a mile of the location where he was shot.” (emphasis added)

“At the spring 2010 meeting of the Alaska Board of Game, the National Park Service submitted a proposal to extend the eastern boundary of the Stampede Closed Area. Instead, the Board of Game decided to eliminate both closed areas and allow hunting and trapping wolves in all areas bordering the park.” (emphasis added)

Also in 2010, the NPS  “…with the cooperation of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, began a study of wolf movements, wolf survival, and wolf viewing opportunities along the Denali Park Road.” The current report includes a table from this study showing the Wolf Viewing Index, “a measure of how often observers on westbound trips to Eielson Visitor Center saw a wolf in a given year. ” Which is believed to be a good indicator of the overall chances of park visitors sighting wolves. The viewing index for the years 2010 through 2014 is as follows: 45%, 21%, 12%, 4%, 6%

Here is that data in graphical form:

Denali NP Wolf Viewing Index, 2010-2014 Click to view larger

Denali NP Wolf Viewing Index, 2010-2014
Click to view larger

Read the whole report here: