Forestry and Agrifoods
No aerial control program will be conducted in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016. This is only the fourth time in the last 39 years that a control program, to protect forest areas from major forest pests, has not been conducted in the Province.
Hemlock looper populations collapsed in all areas protected in 2015 due to the combined effects of treatments, natural controls, and unseasonable weather in July. Results from the 2015 fall forecast survey conducted by the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency, however indicate that hemlock looper populations have increased in portions of the Main River area. Although moderate to severe defoliation is anticipated in this area in 2016, much of this area is not being actively managed. There are five other locations on the island (i.e. Leg Pond, south of Middle Pond on the Torrent River, Owl Pond northeast of Ten Mile Lake, Island Pond west of St. Anthony, and Bellevue Provincial Park on the Avalon) where localized moderate to severe defoliation is expected in 2016. Hemlock looper populations in these areas will be monitored in 2016 to determine if they expand to other forest areas being managed. Elsewhere on the island, hemlock looper populations remain at low levels. In Labrador, hemlock looper populations have remained at low levels following the collapse of the last outbreak in 2009.
In the last nine years spruce budworm populations capable of causing moderate to severe defoliation have been on the rise in Eastern Canada, particularly in Quebec. Over the last several years spruce budworm populations have also expanded into portions of northern New Brunswick. In 2013, increases in the number of spruce budworm moths found on the Northern Peninsula and west coast of Newfoundland have been observed. These increases were the direct result of moth immigration with moths coming into Newfoundland from other areas of eastern Canada with high populations. This led to the discovery of low, but detectable spruce budworm populations in localized areas on the Northern Peninsula in 2014. These areas were successfully treated in 2015 as part of an early intervention trial to reduce SBW populations to levels where natural controls could once again keep populations in check. On the island, spruce budworm populations are forecast to be at very low levels in 2016. In Labrador, spruce budworm populations will again be active in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area. No control for spruce budworm is required on the island and no control will be conducted in Labrador given the limited demand for wood to support the local forest industry.
Localized balsam fir sawfly populations which had been active in the St. Albans area over the last three years collapsed in 2015. Only a few localized locations with low BFS populations are forecast to occur on the Connaigre Peninsula in 2016. No control for this insect pest is required in 2016; however, balsam fir sawfly populations will continue to be monitored.
More detailed information on annual control and monitoring activities and results for major forest pests in the province can be found on the Forest Insect and Disease Monitoring and Control Results page.