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, Healthy Forest Partnership (HFP) researchers and volunteers are working together to track outbreak rise and spread through 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 and 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 ideally more, 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 around these questions. If you will join us, we can together try to answer some of these and other questions.