While we all have endured an outbreak from a virus over the past year, our Colorado forests have been dealing with an outbreak of a different kind...a beetle outbreak.

Different parts of the state have been affected differently but one thing is clear...they beetles can wreak havoc,

According to a CSU study, satellite imagery between 1997-2019 to quantify how outbreaks of three different insect species have impacted forests across high-elevation forests in Colorado, southern Wyoming, and northern New Mexico.

These beetle outbreaks have impacted around 40 percent of the area studied, the effects of these outbreak varied due to differences in forest structures and different tree types in the different regions of Colorado.

Between all of the fires and the beetle infestations, our forests have been dealing with a lot. Unlike those wildfires that can kill all trees in its path, trees typically survive bark beetle outbreaks, it's much more of a short term thing in terms of forest recovery.

Widespread outbreaks of three important bark beetle species have occurred in Colorado’s forests since 2000: mountain pine beetle, spruce beetle, and the western balsam beetle. These bark beetles primarily target large trees in the driest and hottest areas of the state and region.

Here's a fun little map to give you an idea of how and where these outbreaks are REALLY happening...

 

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