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Mountain Pine Beetle Population Declining

The Mountain Pine Beetle is the most destructive pine insect pest in Alberta. Alberta's Mountain Pine Beetle Control Program continues to slow the spread of the pests in Alberta forests, showing a steep decline in population. 

Cold winters paired with the province's aggressive control program have led to striking progress in preserving the health and resilience of our forests. Since 2019. populations in Alberta have declined 98%. 

The province has been actively managing the pest for more than 15 years, in order to mitigate wildfire risk and the negative impacts on the forest industry, watersheds, and endangered species. 

The Mountain Pine Beetle carries a blue-stain fungi that clogs and destroys the conductive tissue of an infected tree when the beetle burrows into the tree to feed and take cover. 

Alberta uses management measures like population monitoring, risk assessments, cutting and burning infested trees, and harvesting vulnerable pine to reduce the impact of the pest in the 5.5 million hectares of pine in the province's forests. 

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