As you may be aware, the Restigouche area is currently experiencing high populations of spruce budworm moth activity. Radar and monitoring indicates that these moths are likely immigrants from Quebec, both from the north shore and the Matapédia Valley.
The North Shore and Gaspe regions of Quebec are currently experiencing a significant infestation from the spruce budworm, which is now at Quebec/New Brunswick border. Research is focused in targeted areas in Northern New Brunswick close to the Quebec border, where detailed sampling in 2013, 2014, and 2015 showed that budworm populations are present and increasing. 2016 areas of focus included locations near communities Dalhousie, Campbellton, Charlo, Balmoral, Tide Head, Atholville, Saint-Quentin, Kedgwick and 35 km northwest of Miramichi.
The Healthy Forest Partnership is a 4-year research initiative that started in 2014 to protect our forests from a spruce budworm infestation. The partnership is comprised of researchers and representatives from, academia, government (provincial & federal) and industry, working in collaboration to slow spruce budworm population growth.
The research initiative focuses on monitoring, detecting, targeting and treating areas of relatively low but growing populations of spruce budworm in New Brunswick before they reach epidemic levels.
The recent moth activity we are seeing in the Restigouche area is not necessarily an indication of a spruce budworm outbreak. However, we will continue to monitor moth activity through radar and our Budworm Tracker (Citizen Science) program. We are also currently working with the New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development to see if egg densities in the area are higher than might be expected based on current spruce budworm populations in that specific site.
This is an evolving situation and we have data coming in daily from radar, citizen science, and on the ground monitoring. We expect to have a better understanding of the impact of the increased moth activity in the Restigouche area as early as August.
Moth migration is not entirely unexpected, and fits within the monitoring and management strategy being developed through the Healthy Forest Partnership and the Spruce Budworm Early Intervention Strategy.
We want to keep you up to date on our research and our progress. Please do not hesitate to contact the Healthy Forest Partnership to ask questions or for an update on the latest information. Visit our website, www.HealthyForestPartnership.ca; email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or leave a message on our toll free number 1-844-216-3040.
We look forward to working with you and keeping you updated as we all strive to keep our forests green and healthy by protecting it from spruce budworm.
The Healthy Forest Partnership Team