People in Nabesa, Paro who experienced an attack of bark beetles are concerned as few dzongkhags had experienced a similar endemic between 1985 and 1990.
A number of trees were infested due to the attack.
“The Forest Management Units are connected with roads and even though the operations are planned, lack of awareness on the issue is one reason for it,” said a forest pathologist and entomologist, D B Chhetri.
Bark Beetles are polyphagous insects (feeding on many different kinds of food) and in its natural environment it attacks standing trees and logs.
During endemic situations, when population density of the beetle species is low, it attacks or infests weakened trees and logs for breeding. In worse situations, it attacks healthy standing trees. For instance, a windstorm or thinning and logging operation leads to accumulation of debris in the forest which creates breeding grounds for the beetles.
Global warming weakens the trees and makes it more prone to insect attacks one of which is the bark beetle. Apart from the natural calamities, the causes are also man-made.
When timber is extracted, people tend to leave behind barks which is very dangerous
According to the forest pathologist DB Chhetri, it is difficult to identify the infested trees as the tree crown wouldn’t necessarily be yellow. It is at the tree trunk where the infestations happen.
The control measures drawn up by the Renewable Natural Resources (RNR)- Research and Development Center (RDC) at Yusipang are reflected in the guidelines for bark beetle control.
The attacked trees particularly the green ones, which are in the process of yellowing, harbor breeding stages of beetles.
Such trees are identified and handed over to the Natural Resources Development Corporation (NRDCL).
The NRDCL would make necessary arrangements for immediate felling. As per guidelines trees are regular monitored to detect fresh attacks. As and when it is detected, arrangements are made to fell and de-bark trees immediately.