Empire of the Beetle

Journalist Andrew Nikiforuk examines the roots, including climate change and human behaviour, of the pine beetle epidemic that is decimating Canadian forests.

Andrew Nikiforuk

Beginning in the late 1980s, a series of pine beetle (also known as the bark beetle) outbreaks unsettled iconic forests and communities across western North America. An insect the size of a rice kernel eventually killed more than 30 billion pine and spruce trees from Alaska to New Mexico.

Although climate change triggered this complex event, human arrogance assuredly played a role. And despite the billions of public dollars spent on control efforts, the beetles burn away like a fire that can't be put out.

Author Andrew Nikiforuk draws on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters and rural residents to investigate this unprecedented pine beetle plague, its startling implications and the lessons it holds. (From Greystone Books)

More about this book

David York produced The Beetles Are Coming for CBC-TV's The Nature of Things based on Empire of the Beetle: