Research: Wolves in Denali

two wolves in the snow look at the camera

NPS Photo

The research that Adolph Murie began in 1939 continues to this day, making Denali’s wolves one of the longest-studied wild wolf populations in the world. Current research efforts now involve radio collaring wolves from each wolf pack living within the park in order to locate them within the vast landscape of Denali by homing in on each collar’s radio signal.

In order to collar wolves, biologists dart them with tranquilizers from a helicopter. Once a selected wolf is sedated, biologists take detailed measurements, check for signs of disease or injury, and fit the wolf with a collar. The wolf can then be located by the collar’s radio signal from a small aircraft or from the ground. Radio collared wolves enable biologists to monitor wolf pack activities and movements and to also obtain pack and population counts. This information is used to expand our understanding of wolves and their roles in ecosystems by providing data on the status, health, and trends of the Denali wolf population over time.

Annual Reports


Wolf Population Data

Since 1986, surveys in spring and fall each year count the number of wolves found in the park, north of the Alaska Range. 
wolf population data in denali since 1986
Year Number of Packs Monitored (Spring) Number of Packs Monitored (Fall) Wolves Counted (Spring) Wolves Counted (Fall) Mean Pack Size (Spring) Mean Pack Size (Fall) Area (Square KM) of Monitored Packs (Spring) Area (Square KM) of Monitored Packs (Fall)

Long Term Wolf Monitoring in Denali


Featured Wolf Stories

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    Wolf Scholarship


    Source: Data Store Collection 3730 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

    Last updated: May 10, 2024

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    Denali Park, AK 99755


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