If you have been following the news on spruce budworm lately, you likely know it is on the rise again. And if you have been following Dr. Rob Johns’ blog posts here, you will know that migration of the SBW is a potentially very important factor in understanding the growth and movement of spruce budworm populations. One of the tools that we are using to get a better understanding of SBW migration is a pheromone trap (images 1 and 2). You can read why in Rob’s early blog post.  In year one of the research program, the team set-up a series of these traps throughout the province of New Brunswick. The traps provided some great baseline data for the program, but there was a need to get far greater resolution in moth movement patterns across the larger region. To accomplish this task was going to require a significant increase in scale and also meant that we would need help to monitor the traps, a lot of help. So we went to you, the public, for help!

Budwormtracker.ca (in French, Pisteursdetordeuses.ca) were launched recently. We have distributed 300 traps to citizen scientists across eastern Canada and Maine. If you didn’t get to join this year but still want to participate, we welcome you to contact us for inclusion on informative e-mails and to join us for next year’s monitoring program. The project is coordinated by myself (Drew Carleton) and Holly Blaquiere and a team of volunteers across the regions including CFS Scientists, Provincial Entomologists, Forest Health Technicians, Pest Detection Officers, Parks Officials and the list goes on! When all is said and done, we hope that the program provides valuable insight into moth migration, early detections of moth hot spots, provides information to the landowners and local interest groups and helps create an open dialogue between the researchers and the public they serve.

We are always taking new names so please head on over to budwormtracker.ca and join the team!

R. Drew Carleton, Biologist
Forest Protection Limited