The Maine Forest Service, cooperators within and outside the state, and Canadian provinces are working together to monitor and predict the growth of the spruce budworm population and its potential impact on the region’s forests. Over the last several years, Spruce budworm populations in Maine have left the “stable” phase and appear to be building. Pheromone and light trap catches have been up above zero for a number of years, defoliation in Quebec has increased year after year, defoliation has been mapped in New Brunswick. This is an insect whose epidemics cover vast regions and flights of moths from heavily infested areas can migrate to new areas. That there will be another outbreak in Maine, soon, is undeniable. When, where, how severe, and what the specific impacts and reactions may be remain to be seen.
For the full report from the Maine Forest Service, click here.
peter king says
I volunteered to man a feramone trap in mirimichi new Brunswick since2015. in 2015 I got 231 in 2016 I got 352, in 2017 I got 603 in 2018 I got 129. this year in 2019 I only got 4. over the years I saw little defoilation, the people I talked to cant explain why except its due to nature how does this compare with other results?
Meg Fergusson says
We asked Dr. Rob Johns, Forest Entomologist at the Atlantic Forestry Centre your question, and his response:
“This actually sounds about right for that area. Spruce budworm were increasing up until about 2017 (which was so far the peak in that area). However, there was a big collapse across the province at the end of last year and we don’t know yet what this year might look at. But, not to worry: those results sound pretty accurate!
That’s the great thing about having somebody return to sample annually, please extend our thanks to the volunteer!!”
And the SBW Task Force agrees, folks helping with citizen science are extraordinarily helpful to track this outbreak!