Crews survey pine beetle winter survival

 

Alberta takes a two-pronged approach in the fight against the mountain pine beetle.

The first is slowing further spread into the eastern slopes and boreal forest by removing infested trees, which you can read about in a previous blog post.

The second is surveying where beetles are and how well their offspring survive each winter.

Photo of ESRD staff drilling a core sample in a tree

Forest health officer, Dale Thomas drills a core sample from an infested tree

Every June, survey crews visit nearly 300 sites across the province to take core samples from infested trees.

This tells us the proportion of dead versus live beetle larvae and if their populations have the potential to increase spread to other trees.

The findings, combined with summer aerial and ground surveys to locate newly-infested trees, help us determine where we need to focus our control efforts to manage spread of beetle attacks.

Widespread infestations can threaten social, economic, and environmental values – including watershed health, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, community sustainability, and the province’s forest industry.

We are committed to protecting our resources. This past year, $40 million was spent to support detection, survey, control, prevention and rehabilitation programs, including $10 million towards reforestation.

Strong action at this time is our most effective tool to control the spread of pine beetles in our forests.

2013 mortality survey results will be posted online in July.

For more information on Alberta’s actions, and to see survey results from previous years, visit www.mpb.alberta.ca.

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