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Priority steps in the fight against the barkbeetle - Similarities and differences between Bulgaria and Austria

03/12/2018
The problem and the fight with barkbeetle reached provoked serious interest at the two-day exchange of experience in Kyustendil on 8 and 9 March 2018, which was organised by BBF, Euronatur. A total of 53 participants - representatives of local and national institutions and organizations, as well as guests from Macedonia - took part in the exchange of experience and main lecturer of the seminar was Mr. Bernard Perni from the Forest Protection Institute at the Forest Research Center, Austria. Besides the lectures and discussions in the hall, the participants also had the possibilities to discuss the issue during a field trip led by engineer Tony Kolev, Director of Forestry unit Kyustendil.

Based on the results of the talks the Austrian expert recommended several priority action steps. He pointed out that during the coming 2 to 4 weeks we can expect the spring activation of the bark beetle.

"If the areas around Kyustendil were located in Austria the Austrian forestry office would have undertaken the following actions: putting pheromone traps near the last cases of coronary outbreaks from the last season;
Weekly checks of the pheromone traps; In case of an identified activation, search for newly affected trees near the last outbreaks; Conduction of salvage logging at an area surrounding the affected tree with radius equal to half or the whole length of the affected tree. These measures in Austria would be carried out without delay and regardless of the type of ownership of the forest. Nevertheless it has to be taken into account that private forests in Austria account for 69% of all forests in the country
."-said Perni

At the end of the seminar, the participants discussed key successes and problems in the fight against the bark beetle in Bulgaria. One of the major problems that were pointed out was the the lack of a register of private landowners and the inability of the state to act quickly in private forests as well as the limited availability of employees in the logging companies – another obstacle that impedes the possibility for fast reaction. The translation of the lectures as well as the provided answers will be provided to all interested parties as well to those who couldn’t attend the seminar.