One of the newest in the venerable Scientists in the Field series, Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It by Loree Griffin Burns and illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz is very topical.
The Asian longhorned beetle is an invasive pest that attacks numerous kinds of hardwoods in the forests of eastern North America. It came to the New World in wooden pallets in 1996 and has been the focus of an ongoing eradication program ever since.
Budding entomologists are going to find this book fascinating. It contains information about the life cycle of the beetle, the history of its introduction to North America, details about how scientists are studying the insects, and information on how concerned citizens can get involved. Burns also reveals how cutting down trees changes habitats and some evidence that ecosystems can recover eventually through succession.
In her Author’s Note, Loree Griffin Burns admits that she questioned whether attempting to eradicate the beetles from her community in Massachusetts by cutting down and chipping many trees was going to be a successful tactic. In an effort to find out more, she gathered the materials that would eventually become the book.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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