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Transcript of Nutria Rat
The Nutria Rat is originally from South America. But in the Early 1900s it was introduced to North America for Fur Trading.
Scientific Name: Myocastor coypus
Finding the Nutria
Nutria's Eating Habits
The Nutria has front paws that are perfect to foraging for food in the Louisiana wetlands. They predominately eat the base of plants and roots. And eat up to 25% of their body weight.
Fun Fact Number 2: The Louisiana government estimates that at any one point in time, nutria impact more than 46,000 acres of Louisiana's coastal wetlands. (Spector, 2013)
Fun Fact Number 3: Louisiana nutria population is presently around 5 million. (Spector, 2013)
Fun Fact Number 1: Nutria harvests peaked in 1976 at 1.8 million pelts worth $15.7 million to trappers. (Louisiana Fisheries & Wildlife, 2007)
Image from BioExpedition
Photo by Robert Caputo
Wildlife Damage Management
The Normal habitat for the Nutria is along coastal wetlands. But they can also be found in and around any body of water. They enjoy living in burrows.
Fun Fact Number 4: They often construct circular platforms of compacted, coarse emergent vegetation, which they use for feeding, birthing, resting and grooming. (Louisiana Fisheries & Wildlife, 2007)
Destruction to Louisiana Wetlands
The intense consumption of the Nutria Rat and their rapid reproduction creates a great concern on local ecosystem.
Fun Fact 5: Nutria sometimes burrow into the styrofoam flotation under boat docks and wharves, causing these structures to lean and sink. (Wildlife Damage Management, 2005)
There is Hope
(Louisiana Fisheries & Wildlife, 2007)
BioExpedition(2013) Nutria or Coypu. BioExpedition.com. Retrieved from http://bioexpedition.com/nutria-or-coypu/
Boatner, Mike (2008, September, 13) Baby Nutria Taking Bread. PBase. Retrieved from http://www.pbase.com/mboatner/image/103080508/original
Caputo, Robert. Nutria. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/nutria/#close-modal
Gator Chronicles. (2012, September 13) Nuthaniel baby sitting river rat Kids. The Gator Chronicles. Retrieved from http://thegatorchronicles.com/2012/09/13/nuthaniel-baby-sitting-river-rat-kids/
Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries (2007) Louisiana’s Fur Industry. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. Retrieved from http://nutria.com/site8.php
Spector, Dina. (2013, May, 10) Beaver Sized Rodents Are Devouring Louisiana. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/nutria-rat-destroying-louisiana-2013-5
Wildlife Damage Management (2005) Nutria. Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management. Retrieved from http://icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/nutria.asp
Fun Fact Number 6: Today their number has been vastly reduced thanks to a series of efforts to control overpopulation, including a $4 bounty on each nutria tail. (Spector, 2013)