Skip to main content

Gray wolf packs and human-caused wolf mortality

Cite this dataset

Cassidy, Kira et al. (2022). Gray wolf packs and human-caused wolf mortality [Dataset]. Dryad.


Gray wolves (Canis lupus) are group-living carnivores that travel over large areas and are one of the most controversial species in North America. Gray wolf management over the last century has ranged from eradication by nearly any means to preservation under the Endangered Species Act to state-managed which often includes limited hunting and, in some areas, population reduction. Management decisions are complicated by transboundary movements of wildlife, especially when the bordering agencies have disparate goals or mandates. This data is specific to gray wolves and packs using five National Park Service (NPS) units (years of data): Denali National Park and Preserve (33 years), Grand Teton National Park (23 years), Voyageurs National Park (12 years), Yellowstone National Park (27 years), and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve (23 years). This dataset features two measures of gray wolf biological processes, pack persistence and reproduction, and was used to determine the impacts of anthropogenic mortality on the pack. We examined persistence and reproduction at the pack level given known wolf mortalities and pack sizes.


All data were collected by NPS staff and partners by deploying radio collars on each wolf pack using the National Park unit. Wolf packs were tracked aerially several times per month to determine persistence through time. Pack size was recorded during tracking. For each biological year a pack persisted, they were given a pack-year entry. Reproduction was determined through localization around a den or visual of at least one pup during the biological year. Human-caused mortalities were recorded and confirmed with necropsies and other wildlife official reports and then assigned to a specific pack-year.


Living With Wolves

Browning Family

National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, Award: DEB-0613730

National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, Award: DEB-1245373

Yellowstone Forever

National Park Service

University of Minnesota System

Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

Voyageurs Conservancy

Rainy Lake Conservancy

International Wolf Center

Wolf Conservation Center

Northern Michigan University

The 06 Legacy

National Wolfwatcher Coalition

Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation

Wildlife Science Center

Van Sloun Foundation



Bell Museum of Natural History

Grand Teton National Park Foundation

Central Alaska Network Inventory and Monitoring Program

United States Geological Survey

Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve and the Central Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network

National Geographic Society