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An Aerial Observer's Guide to Recognizing and Reporting Southern Pine Beetle Spots
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Updating Flight Maps



To keep current on SPB spots in your area, you must frequently update flight maps. Use the same set of maps or photos for all aerial surveys in a given year. This reduces the chance that a spot will go unreported or be reported more than once. Before each flight, note on your aerial map SPB spots reported by ground crews as inactive or controlled. The notation prepares you for spotting breakouts.

A suggested system for recording spots and updating SPB flight maps is given in table 2. To use this system, draw a small circle around each new spot on your map. Use a different colored pencil for each survey flight. As new information comes in, alter the circle to indicate the current status of each spot.

Table 2. - Suggested symbols to use on SPB flight maps
Source of information Symbol 1 Description
Initial aerial survey Symbol

New spot with 20 trees and priority 1 for ground check (color indicates date of flight)

Ground check information Symbol

Spot found to be inactive upon ground check (use to update flight maps prior to next flight)

Control information Symbol

Spot controlled since last flight (use to update flight maps prior to next flight)

Followup flight Symbol Previously seen spot that appears to be inactive from air with bare trees or red crowns or both, but no yellow crowns
Followup flight Symbol Controlled spot that is observed from air to have a breakout with 20 active trees
Followup flight Symbol Previously seen spot updated from 10 to 100 active trees and priority 4 to priority 1

1 Some organizations prefer to use a square symbol Square symbol to indicate that a spot's location may not be accurately plotted.

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