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Mountain pine beetle population has declined dramatically in Alberta

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec21,2023

The mountain pine beetle population has drastically decreased ; in Alberta

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The pine beetle measures between 4 and 7.5 mm, but despite its small size, it is one of the most destructive insects mature pine forests in North America.


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The population of the pine beetle in Alberta, a devastating insect for this tree species, has declined by 98% since 2019.

This decline is the result of the combination of the freezing temperatures of recent years and the aggressive pest management program, explains the province's press release.

I am proud of the progress we have made in controlling the spread of the mountain pine beetle throughout Alberta, said Forestry and Parks Minister Todd Loewen in the release.

The Alberta government is closely monitoring this insect pest, which is particularly harmful to the province's boreal forests. In 2007, the government implemented a specific management program to combat its spread.

To reduce the impact of this insect on the province's forest territory, the measures deployed include monitoring of the pine beetle population, risk assessment , cutting and burning of infested trees as well as harvesting very vulnerable pines.

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As big as a grain of rice, the pine beetle is an insect that attacks trees using the blue stain fungus of the Ophiostoma genus. Infested trees die in just one year. In 2019, the beetle population peaked (New window) before its sharp decline.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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