Although entymologists are not certain what has caused the recent pine beetle epidemic wrecking havoc on Colorado conifers, they suspect that a decline in the woodpecker population, which feeds on pine beetles, and warmer-than-usual winters have caused an increase in pine beetles over the years. About 1.3 million acres of forest have been attacked by pine beetles from 1998-2008, causing a deforestation and a loss of habitat for squirrels, moose, and pine martins.
Climate change is the most likely suspect for the recent pine beetle epidemic. Warmer temperatures in typically cold places mean that they can survive where they couldn’t before.
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