Population Estimation of the Western Conifer Seed Bug by Mark Release Recapture, and Calibration of a Visual Monitoring Technique
The western conifer seed bug is an important seed orchard pest in southern interior British Columbia, where it is responsible for significant seed loss, particularly in lodge pole pine and Douglas‐fir. In order to develop an economic damage threshold, i.e., when it would be economically justifiable to apply a pesticide treatment to protect the seed crop, it is critical that a monitoring technique is developed that will allow an accurate assessment of the numbers of seed bugs present, and hence an estimate of the damage this population can inflict. The intern will use mark, release and recapture techniques to estimate bug populations. These data will be used to develop a regression model by which the number of bugs observed during visual survey walks can be translated to actual numbers, and hence to damage. This will in turn allow the development of an economic threshold.