Mountain Pine Beetle

Hey, can somebody who knows (I have no idea, since I’m not from 'round these parts) answer this question that’s been in my head for a bit:

The mountain pine beetle stuff:  was this an introduced species, or has it always been here?  If it’s always been here, why is it only spreading now?  If it was introduced, does anybody know where it came from?

Is the mountain pine beetle new to British Columbia?

    No. Lodgepole pine and the mountain pine beetle have always co-existed as a natural part of the ecosystem in British Columbia’s interior forests. … /faq.htm#1

introduced species MiG[/quote]

As in they came from China or something like that?  Do you know where they are native?  If so, do they also spread like they have here?

Honestly, I wanted to use the pine beetle spread as evidence of a gradual climate change in the climate of BC, but if they’re not originally from BC, then I guess that doesn’t work :wink:

modified my post mig…

Well, from the same link you can find this faq:

[quote]Is the mountain pine beetle a threat to other provinces?

    Scientists believe the mountain pine beetle is a tangible threat to other provinces as jackpine, found across the prairies and eastern Canada, is a potential host species for the beetle if predicted climate change expands the range of the beetle.

My understanding is that the present problem with the beetle is that it is easier for a greater number of them to survive winter.  I recall reading somewhere that for them to die, there needs to be several consecutives days with -30 temperatures in the wintertime.  And this is something that hasn’t happened in the last few years in some regions. 
I think you could say that the beetle was endemic to BC but wasn’t a problem because colder winters culled the population.  The problem started mainly because of milder winters.
MiG, maybe you can look at other insects to support your argument.  Check out the african bee and the fire ants.

This had been my understanding. Did some camping in Monkman Park, near Tumbler last summer, the the amount of beetle kill is unreal. Even with the snow cover up near Powder King, the mountains look terrible.