Budworm Tracker

The Budworm Tracker Program (BTP) is a community science program that helps monitor spruce budworm moth populations throughout the vast forests of eastern Canada.

With the current spruce budworm outbreak looming to the north in Québec, HFP researchers and volunteers are working together to track outbreak rise and spread in Atlantic Canada. Volunteers are located across the six eastern Canadian provinces, in the state of Maine, and even on the small French island of St. Pierre de Miquelon.

In a nutshell, volunteers receive a free BTP kit with a pre-assembled moth trap in early summer. They then hang the trap in a tree near their residence and collect the trapped moths at least once per week (or more often if they are willing and able).

At the end of summer, once moths have completed their flight period, volunteers place all collected moths and data into a pre-paid envelope and drop it off at their local post office. These packages come directly to our labs where we can process and analyze the results

Why we need your help

Despite decades of research, we remain uncertain about what impact dispersing spruce budworm moths have on outbreak spread. Our Budworm Trackers play a major role in providing the data needed to resolve these mysteries. You might be wondering, “Are there many spruce budworm moths in my woodlot/forest/backyard? Are they from local populations feeding on local trees, or are they dispersers that have flown in from distant outbreak areas?” We share your curiosity and concerns. By joining us, together we can try to answer these and other questions.

Where we need new trackers