Like many other insects, Scolytinae emit pheromones to attract conspecifics which are thus drawn to trees already colonized by bark beetles. This can result in heavy infestations and eventually death of the tree. Many are also attracted to ethanol, one of the byproducts of microbial growth in dead woody tissues.
In each of the three years of the project we have monitored 100-125 traps at 25 sites. Sites where traps have been placed have been adjusted from year to year to cover the greatest amount of area with the survey. 2016 trapping is ongoing, but no mountain pine beetle were found in 2014 or 2015. MDA also monitored traps for mountain pine beetle in 2013 as a pilot project before the work funded through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund began.
His research showed that climate change was causing temperatures to rise in the cold mountain elevations where the whitebark pine grow, creating ripe conditions for the destructive beetle to spread.
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University of Wyoming Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources
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