L. David Mech and Walter Medwid are currently in Resolute and awaiting information on their flight out that will take them approximately 300 miles further north (80 degrees N. latitude) -hopefully tomorrow a.m.
Medwid: The weather is overcast
in Resolute (a community of 200 Inuit people) on Cornwallis
Island; light drizzle; temperature in the upper 30's/low 40's.
We're overlooking Resolute Bay which is still frozen. The
snow cover is about 10% in the surrounding area. We're staying
at an Inuit lodge called Qausuitttuq, but are hoping to fly
out tomorrow am. We did a quick tour of the village this afternoon
and saw that the Inuit have returned from a hunt and taken
a dozen seals.
June 29, 2001
The first Notes from the Field will cover wolf expert L. David Mech and International Wolf Center Executive Director Walter Medwid as they make their way to within 600 miles of the North Pole. They are in search of any remaining members of the High Arctic wolf pack that Mech has studied for 15 years. We will keep you posted on their excursion.
The High Arctic pack includes the wolves that Mech first befriended in 1986 and has lived with for part of each summer since then (except 1999). The only pack in the world that anyone has lived this close to for so long, it has yielded much valuable information. Mech first reported on this pack in the May 1987 issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Magazine, and this was followed with the National Geographic Society's Explorer TV documentary "White Wolf" ("Ice Pack" in Eurasia), and Voyageur Press's books "The Arctic Wolf: Living with the Pack," " Wolves of the High Arctic" and "The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years with the Pack."
As of summer 2000, only one of this line of wolves was left, "Explorer," a female born in 1992, who has always exhibited great curiosity. In 2000, she had a mate from some distant area but bore no pups.
Learning whether Explorer still lives and whether she produced pups this year is the object of the current expedition. In addition, Mech and Medwid will try to locate as many wolf prey - musk-oxen, arctic hares, and Peary caribou - as they can. This will allow the men to determine what kind of food supply exists for the wolves in the area.
The men will leave Minnesota on June 29 to fly to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, then on to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories and Resolute Bay, an Inuit village on Cornwallis Island, Nunavut on June 30 (75 degrees N. Latitude). After that, the timing of the last leg of this trip to 80 degrees N. Latitude in the High Arctic is open, as they leave the world of scheduled flights.
Keep watch in this space for the progress and details of this adventure to see whether they will find Explorer, the last remaining wolf in her famous line.
|Photos can be viewed at:|
Further background info at