Citizen scientists needed for 2017 campaign

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Working together to keep our forests healthy from spruce budworm: Citizen scientists needed for 2017 campaign

Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service (NRCan-CFS) is committed to keeping our country’s forests healthy now and into the future. They’re looking for citizen scientists to assist in a summertime project to track the spread of the spruce budworm moth in your areas.

The goal of the collaborative program is to understand the migration of the insect across the landscape and to get citizens thinking about the insects that live in the forest and the role they play in the ecosystem. Spruce budworm is one of the most damaging native insects affecting spruce and true fir trees in Canada so the better we understand its biology, the better we can understand the impacts it has on our forests.

During an outbreak, spruce budworm kills large areas of forest resulting in significant consequences for the tourism and forest industries. Current predictions indicate that a large-scale outbreak of the spruce budworm may develop in Ontario in the next few year.

This project will help researchers and forest managers better understand how populations of the insects grow, change and move across the landscape through the use of a collaborative, multi-province initiative and early intervention strategy. Trackers will be directed to a website developed specifically for this project www.budwormtracker.ca or can call (506) 452-3507.

In 2016, The Budworm Tracker program achieved around 85% percent return rate from its citizen scientists. Organizers are hoping to maintain or exceed last year’s success rate in this year’s tracking season.

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