NY: Natural History Press, 1970. First edition. Hardcover. Two books: The first L David Mech's The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. Fourteenth printing. A significant association copy, inscribed to Durward L Allen, Mech's mentor and a luminary of wildlife biology: "Dear Durward, Thank you for choosing me to help launch the Isle Royale wolf project so long ago. That opportunity led to a life I could not have enjoyed more. It has been a tremendous privilege to know you. Dave, 1/4/94." Uncommon signed.
The second book is Durward L Allen's Wolves of Minong: Their Vital Role in a Wild Community. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979. First edition, first printing. Signed by Allen on the title page in blue ink.
L. David Mech is senior research scientist for the US Geological Survey with a specialty in wolves, and he is the founder of the International Wolf Center. He is the author or co-author of eleven books on wolves and other wildlife. He was Durward Allen's graduate student at Purdue from 1958 to 1962 and, as the inscription says, helped launch the groundbreaking study of wolves and moose on Isle Royale. Starting in 1986 he then spent 25 summers observing wolves on large Ellesmere Island in northernmost Canada, in a sense replicating and expanding his experience at Isle Royale. Among other documentation of the Ellesmere wolves, he co-produced a film about his experience for National Geographic. The Wolf is his second book and is described as "the first book to attempt a complete account of the biology of the wolf," one that "draws from years of field research and upon the rich literature from two continents."
Durward L. Allen was an important wildlife biologist and author including of the landmark book Our Wildlife Legacy (1954). He worked for government agencies for twenty years and became the director of research for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Subsequently he became a professor of ecology at Purdue University, a post he held for 22 years. In addition to his four books, he is famous in particular for his study of the wolves of Island Royale (a National Park) in Lake Superior, now the longest continuous study of a predator-prey system in the world. Wolves are thought to have come to the island on an ice bridge in 1948, and Allen started his study in 1958. He found over time that their numbers oscillate with moose much as in the famous example of lynx and hare, with wolf numbers catching up to and then overshooting moose numbers in an oscillating pattern (scroll down for graph). These findings stood in contrast to the then-prevailing ecological thinking and established that "rich, dynamic variation, not ‘balance of nature’ seems to be the force that guides nature." As Allen put, "in [this study] we have the key to why both moose and wolf are what they are, and indeed to the character of wilderness." See his article "The Worth of Wilderness: With Interpretations from a Study of Wolves and Moose on Isle Royale" for more. He was on the board of the Audubon Society and president of the Wilderness Society, and was awarded the Audubon Medal and Aldo Leopold Memorial Award by those organizations respectively. His papers are held at the Denver Public Library.
Wolves of Minong is Allen's popular account of the study at Isle Royale (the island's indigenous name is Minong) and is part science, part narrative and adventure. David Mech is a character in the book, thus we include it. Mech is mentioned on at least seven pages per the index, but we have found him on others.
The Wolf is fine but with the publisher's red remainder spackle to bottom edge of the text block; in a near fine jacket with wear to corners. Wolves of Minong is fine in a very good or better jacket with some subtle scuffing/scratching to left edge of front panel. Laid in is a postcard receipt from the Portland Wolf Symposium (1979) sent to Alexandra C. Bakarich in Maryland. Presumably she had Durward Allen sign the book at the symposium in the year of its publication. Fine / Very good. Item #1079
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