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A History of Loss of Wolves

Denali National Park & Preserve 

Four wolf groups that have occupied territory along the Denali National Park visitor road are the Savage, Headquarters, Toklat and Sanctuary. They are the most widely viewed, photographed, and in the case of the Toklat, first studied, wolves in the world. Here is their history ...

1983: The Savage group occupying the eastern portion of the park was completely wiped out by a hunter.

1993: A park researcher accidentally killed the alpha male of the Headquarters group while attempting to radio-collar him.

1995: A trapper illegally snared the sole survivor of the Headquarters group, an alpha female, less than 300 feet outside the park border.

1997-1998: Toklat wolves decline sharply from the usual 10-12 adults to only two.

1998: Sanctuary wolves decline from 15 to eight members, with no evidence of any reproduction in the summer of 1998. Only 2-3 adults have been observed in the group as of the fall, 1998.

1999: The surviving members of Denali National Park's world famous Toklat wolves - a wayward male, a young female and their four pups - traveled great distances this past winter. The good news is that they all lived through the trapping season that ended April 30.

Beginning this summer, hundreds of thousands of tourists will be heading to Denali in hopes of catching a glimpse of one or more members of the Toklat pack.

"Reprinted with permission from the Alaska Wildlife Alliance"