Tuesday, November 18, 2008

bad news bark beetles

Out west, in Montana, Colorado and Wyoming, a swelling infestation of bark beetles are taking a toll on millions of acres of trees. The suppression of fires, a decade of drought, and the fact that hard winters have softened, are said to be main causes for the flourish and expanded range of these beetles. Land owners are cutting down up to 75% of the pines in hopes to leave less competition for water and foster survival.

The Latin name for the beetles, Dendroctunus, means tree killer. Read more about the battle between bug and bark, and the domino effect this devastation has on the ecosystem here, in a recent NY Times article.

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