Mountain pine beetle populations experienced varying degrees of over-winter survival in Alberta in 2010-11, ranging from moderate to high survival in the northwest and central parts of the province to declining populations along the eastern edge of the infestation and in the southwest. "There are some small pockets of good news on the mountain pine beetle front lines this year, but overall the infestations remain a challenge to Alberta and we must continue our aggressive action to protect forest health in the province," said Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight.
Milder winter weather throughout most of the province's forests this year is the likeliest cause of greater beetle survival this year, compared to the extreme temperature fluctuations the previous winter which led to significant beetle mortality.
Over-winter mortality survey results are used to help set priorities for control work in the coming year. This year's results mean Alberta will continue to target specific areas for aggressive action against mountain pine beetle in 2011-12.
Prime objectives of the beetle management program are to prevent infestations spreading north and south along the eastern slopes, and further eastward in the boreal forest.
For more information on Alberta's mountain pine beetle control program visit www.mpb.alberta.ca.