Mountain Pine Beetle Projections

Projection reports and updates on the provincial-level mountain pine beetle model have been published annually since 2004. The model projects the possible course of the beetle outbreak currently affecting B.C.’s Interior forests, estimating pine mortality and providing forest managers with insight into how the infestation may progress.

Current Projection Results (Year 13)

In the past year (2015-2016), the beetle projections have been updated based on the results of the 2015 Provincial Aerial Overview of Forest Health. This work represents an update to the efforts of Year 12.  The current projection results do not project the forest or beetle management response to the current outbreak.

Principal Conclusions

  • The worst year of observed red-attack, at a provincial scale, was 2005 with approximately 140 million m3 attacked
  • The volume of red-attack pine has declined rapidly, at a provincial scale, since 2005
  • Approximately 731 million m3 (54%) of B.C.'s merchantable pine volume has likely been killed (red- and grey-attack), which includes approximately 1 million m3 observed as red-attack in summer 2015
  • The annual volume of mature merchantable red-attack pine on the THLB is projected to remain below 1 million m3
  • By the time it is over (by 2020) the infestation will have killed an estimated 55 per cent of B.C.'s mature merchantable pine (less than 740 million m3) — significantly less than the 80 per cent projected mortality published in 2006

Spreadsheets

The following Excel workbook depicts the observed and projected pine loss due to the current mountain pine beetle infestation. It contains tables and charts for each of the timber supply areas. Tree farm licences' results have been combined. The results do not project the forest management response to the current outbreak.

Cartographic Data

The following maps depict the state of the outbreak in 2015, and as projected to three specific years in the future. 

Important Notes

  • The beetle projections show that the infestation will grow in management units at the periphery of the outbreak center.  It is the Province's opinion — based on past projection results and an understanding of the limitations of the projection model — that the infestation will remain stable or continue to decline in these units. 
  • In areas of B.C. with missing or inconsistently gathered aerial overview survey mapping, the aerial overview survey mapping has been replaced with infestation severity estimates projected by BCMPB. 
  • Government forecasters are reasonably confident in the model's observed and projected infestation estimates at the provincial and district scale, but the specific progression of the outbreak at finer scales, such as a "watershed" or a "pixel," is most likely wrong because these finer scales exceed the resolution of the model.
  • The projection provided is one instance of the output from a stochastic model. It projects what might happen rather than predicting what will happen.