Daniel Pletscher

Photo of Pletscher, Daniel

Daniel Pletscher

Professor of Wildlife Biology, Emeritus


B.S. University of Minnesota, 1974
M.S. Kansas State University, 1977
Ph.D. Yale University, 1982

Research Interests

endangered species, predator/prey interactions, strategies for conservation

Successful resolution of wildlife conservation problems requires knowledge of ecology and of the social context in which the problem exists. Our research group has focused on an endangered species, the wolf, in northwestern Montana. We have surveyed the local publics to determine their concerns regarding wolf recovery and, through a series of graduate student research projects, have addressed these concerns. We transfer information back to the public through numerous presentations and through newspaper and magazine articles, and to the scientific community through publications in scientific journals. We have worked and are working on issues with lynx and wolverine.

Our research program on large mammals in Qinghai Province, People's Republic of China, has focused on applied conservation problems there. Wildlife must have a value greater than just protein to continue to exist, especially in highly-populated, developing countries. Funded through an endowment from the Robert M. Lee Foundation, we have focused on ways in which local people can receive benefits from conserving wildlife sufficient to sustain wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend. Wildlife conservation focused solely on public lands is doomed to failure. The Boone & Crockett Wildlife Conservation Program attempts to integrate wildlife conservation and private land management. This program, focused on the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch near Dupuyer, has research, education and demonstration functions. I have worked with the Boone and Crockett Professors to develop this program

Selected Publications

Pletscher, D.H. and M.K. Schwartz. 2000. The tyranny of population growth. J. Conserv. Biol.
14(6): 1918-1919.

Boyd, D.K., S.H. Forbes, D.H. Pletscher, and F.W. Allendorf. 2001. Identification of Rocky
Mountain gray wolves. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29(1):1-8.
Kunkel, K.E., and D.H. Pletscher. 2001. Winter hunting patterns of wolves in and near Glacier
National Park, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 65(3):520-530.

Pletscher, D.H. and M.K. Schwartz. 2001. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Malthusian ship:
Reply to Phifer and Roebuck. J. Conserv. Biol. 15(6): 1812-1813.

Harris, R.B., and D.H. Pletscher. 2002. Incentives toward conservation of argali (Ovis ammon):
A case study of trophy hunting in western China. Oryx 36(4):373-381.

Hebblewhite, M., D.H. Pletscher, and P.C. Paquet. 2002. Elk population dynamics in areas with
and without predation by recolonizing wolves in Banff National Park, Alberta. Canadian
Journal of Zoology 80:789-799.

Hebblewhite, M, and D.H. Pletscher. 2002. Effects of elk group size on predation by wolves.
Canadian Journal of Zoology 80:800-809.

Arjo, W.M., D.H. Pletscher, and R.R. Ream. 2002. Dietary overlap between wolves and coyotes
in northwestern Montana. Journal of Mammalogy 83(3):754-766.

Thomas, J.W., and D.H. Pletscher. 2002. The "Lynx Affair" - professional credibility on the
line. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:1281-1286.

Hebblewhite, M., D.H. Pletscher, and P.Paquet. 2003. Elk population dynamics following wolf
recolonization of the Bow Valley of Banff National Park. Research Links 11(1):10-12.

Hebblewhite, M., P.C. Paquet, D.H. Pletscher, R.B. Lessard, and C.J. Callaghan. 2003.
Development and application of a ratio estimator to estimate wolf kill rates and variance
in a multi-prey system. Wildlife Society Bulletin 31(4):933-946.

Kunkel, K.E., D.H. Pletscher, D.K. Boyd, R.R. Ream, M.W. Fairchild. 2004. Factors correlated
with foraging behavior of wolves in and near Glacier National Park, Montana. Journal of
Wildlife Management 68(1):167-178.