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An Aerial Observer's Guide to Recognizing and Reporting Southern Pine Beetle Spots
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Early detection of new infestations is the first step in controlling the southern pine beetle (SPI3) and in reducing timber losses. Over large forested areas, periodic aerial surveys are the most practical observation method. Aerial observers plot suspected beetle Spots-pine trees with discolored foliage -onto maps or aerial photographs. Ground crews then check these areas to see if SPB caused the damage and to determine if control is needed. The problem is, during beetle outbreaks, so many suspected SPB spots are reported that ground crews cannot check them promptly. This hampers control operations.

This handbook is designed to help foresters and technicians become efficient aerial observers. It has two sections. First, we describe what SPB spots look like from the air in summer-the season when most new infestations are observed-and explain how to distinguish them from areas with trees dead or dying from other causes. The discussion includes guidelines for assigning a ground check priority to each reported spot. Then, based on seasonal habits of the beetle and on seasonal changes in the appearance of infestations, we describe symptoms that you should look for in fall, winter, and spring.

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