Aerial surveys in 2011 showed about 50 per cent fewer red beetle-killed pine trees where control programs are in effect, primarily in west-central Alberta and east to Slave Lake. However, the number of newly attacked trees has increased in the Grande Prairie and Peace River areas, despite the aerial surveys showing no large in-flight of beetles
from eastern British Columbia. “[The 2011] surveys show some positive results where the province’s mountain pine beetle control strategy has been most aggressive,” said Sustainable Resource Development Minister Frank Oberle. “However, Alberta will continue its
fight against the threat of pine beetles.” It can take up to a year for a beetle-killed pine tree to turn red.
were undetected or not controlled. Results are combined with estimates of trees
attacked this year, plus beetle population trend surveys from the spring, to
plan control actions for the coming year. Operational plans are underway to
remove infested trees.
Mountain pine beetles threaten the health of six million hectares of Alberta
forests with stands of pine trees. The infestations began in southwest Alberta
in 2002, and increased rapidly in west-central Alberta in 2006 and 2009 after a
wind-assisted in-flight of insects from British Columbia.