The Pine Beetle App

Mountain pine beetle (MPB) is spreading east, threatening vast areas of Canadian forests. Knowing where infestations are is key to managing the problem. This app was developed by fRI Research as a quick and simple way for people to report the presence of mountain pine beetle. The data collected will inform management actions and support current and future mountain pine beetle research.

Pilot Programs

Information on past pilot projects will be added soon. Please watch this website for future pilot projects or subscribe to our mailing list and be the first to know!

Collection Depots

You must visit a collection depot and pick-up a scat collection kit prior to participating in the pilot.
We will not accept scat samples if they haven't been collected in the issued vials.
You must collect the sample using the app or using one of OUR portable GPS units that can be signed-out at any of our collection depots. 


  • Hinton Fish & Wildlife Office
    Provincial Building
    131 Civic Centre Road
    Hinton, Alberta


    Phone: 780-865-8264


  • Edson Fish & Wildlife Office
    #203, Provincial Building
    111 54 Street
    Edson, Alberta


    Phone: 780-723-8244

Drayton Valley

  • Drayton Valley Fish & Wildlife Office
    Main Floor, Penn West Buidling
    6521 50th Ave West
    Drayton Valley , Alberta


    Phone: 780-542-6616

Rocky Mountain House

  • Rocky Mountain House Fish & Wildlife Office
    2nd Floor, Provincial Building
    4919 54 Street
    Rocky Mountain House


    Phone: 403-845-8230

Upcoming Info Sessions


  • July 30th, 2014

  • 7:00pm

  • Hinton Training Centre
  • Room 134


  • July 31st, 2014


  • Edson Provincial Building
  • Room 110

Drayton Valley

  • August 5th, 2014

  • 7:00pm

  • Penn West Building
  • Main Conference Room

Rocky Mountain House

  • August 6th, 2014

  • 7:00pm

  • Provincial Building
  • Room 125A
  • MAP
Mountain Pine Beetle Pitch Tube (pine defense mechanism to expel beetle) Lodgepole Pine Stand Infected by Mountain Pine Beetle (Red Attack Stage) Blue Stain Logs Lodgepole Pine Tree
Show/Hide Map of Current Infestations

Quick Facts About Mountain Pine Beetle

How big are they?

Mountain Pine Beetle are roughly the size of a standard grain of rice.

How long do they live?

The mountain pine beetle has a one-year life cycle in most of its range, but may take more or less time to complete its development, depending on local temperatures.

What kills them?

Prolonged cold temperatures (-40c) or fire. Overwinter mortality is usually the largest single source of mountain pine beetle mortality; mild winter temperatures result in higher insect survival.


The mountain pine beetle is native to western North America, from northern Mexico to northern British Columbia.  In the 2000s, the beetle significantly expanded its range in Canada, invading new habitat east of the Rocky Mountains.


The sapwood of successfully attacked trees appears blue in colour usually by the fall in the year of attack. Needles turn yellow, orange and then red approximately one year after attack.

What Trees do they like?

Large mature lodgepole pine trees provide better habitat and produce more beetles. This results in positive feedback and rapid population growth.

WHY a smartphone app?

Forests susceptible to mountain pine beetle are large which makes detecting mountain pine beetle infested trees a challenge for both industry and various levels of government. Furthermore, the human and financial resources needed to detect these infestations are high. By developing an app that runs on popular smartphones, we hope to effectively engage potential citizen scientists and empower them to provide detection data quickly and easily.

The app and data collection framework are based on three core principles: (1) easily capture data using a mobile device, (2) rapidly process live data, images or documents, and (3) transmit data to our key research applications behind our corporate firewall. More simply put, transmit the data from citizens directly into our database without the need for manual data entry and processing.

How do I get Started?

Step 1

Download the app.

Download the smartphone application from either the iOS app store or Android play store. 

Step 2

Open the app and register.

Registration and authentication requires an internet connection! You must register and authenticate with the app prior to venturing into the forest.

Step 3

Familiarize yourself with the app and content on the about page.

Now get familiar with the app so you will be ready to start detecting pine beetle infested trees. Do you know what a pitch tube looks like? A lodgepole pine tree?  All this can be found on the about page within the app.

Step 4

Detect pine beetle infestations!

You are ready to start detecting pine beetle infestations. If you are hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, biking or exploring a trail via an off-highway-vehicle you can also be detecting pine beetle a infestations.

Step 5

Tell your friends.

Help spread the word by sharing this website and by helping your friends get the app installed on their phones.

What Data is collected?

Once a pine beetle infected tree is identified, Citizen Scientists can report the detection via the app.  Each submission requires:

  1. A photo showing the infected tree(s) and pitch tubes
  2. An estimate of how many pitch tubes are found on the tree
  3. An estimate of how many trees are infected
  4. Additional notes (optional)

The app also records a GPS location and the date and time once the submission is saved, If you have cellular service or a wifi connection, the data will be transferred to our secure servers immediately. If you are in a remote area, the data will be cached on your device until you have cellular service or reconnect to a wifi hotspot.

Who are The MPB Contacts in the Hinton, AB Area?

James Kwasny
Town of Hinton


Jennifer Benson
Yellowhead County


Caroline Charbonneau
Crown Land / Cache Percotte


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lodgepine trees in the red attack stage

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