The Pandora Moth (Coloradia pandora) is a native defoliator of ponderosa, Jeffrey and lodgepole pine trees of the Western US. During most years, populations and defoliation is minor, but periodic outbreaks cause widespread defoliation (Speer and others 2001). The outbreak shown here in Arizona's Kaibab National Forest first caused significant defoliation in June-July of 2013 and defoliating caterpillars have now returned in 2015.
ForWarn observed an anomaly in the Plumas National Forest, California. The mixed conifer forest/woodland has had a prior fire west of the area which could account for vegetation departure. However, the fire sawfly has historically been active in the area and may also account for defoliation.
ForWarn detected departure of vegetation greenness in San Juan National Forest, Colorado including parts of the Weminuche Wilderness. Higher elevations below the treeline are noticing departure because of intensifying snow toward open canopies. It is also a possibility that western spruce budworm and spruce beetle are contributing to departure considering historical data on insect infestation in the area in July.
ForWarn identified a decline in vegetation greenness in the Rio Grande National Forest and southern San Juan Wilderness. It is a possibility that the severe tree mortality is due to snow impacts or intensification of apparent spruce beetle defoliation.
ForWarn identified a decline anomaly in the Morris and Passaic Counties of New Jersey. Gypsy moth is historically active in the area during the time of reporting, June 2015. Defoliation in the area of concern is consistent with defoliation of the previous year. Based on past data, decline in vegetation greenness could potentially intensify.
ForWarn identified an anomaly in the Kaibab National Forest of Arizona near the Jacob's Lake area. Defoliation is actively growing and shifting between hosts, timing, and species. This is because of a reduction in vulnerable host species, parasites and pathogens that decline populations of defoliator species, and subtle differences in environmental conditions across years and places. It is probably that the pandora moth is the cause of the decline in the area by defoliating ponderosa pines.
ForWarn observed a decline in the swamp forest of Louisiana. The decline has occurred annually due to insect defoliation.
ForWarn discovered defoliation in the Pennsylvania ridges and New Jersey highlands. The area of the anomaly is consistent with anomalies of years prior. This consistent behavior is apparent for insect infestations likely including the gypsy moth, among others.
ForWarn identified an increasing anomaly along the coastal border of Rhode Island and Maine. The intensification is consistent with previous year's data to be apparent winter moth defoliation. Residual tornado damage to vegetation greenness may also attribute to the anomaly.
ForWarn identified a disturbance in the bottomlands of coastal South and North Carolina. The swamps of the Carolinas have seen progressive defoliation by an unknown insect.