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Myocastor coypus - Coypu, Nutria

French name:  Ragondin
Dutch name: Beverrat
Family: Echimyidae
Group: Mammals
Origin: South America
Habitat: freshwater
Introduction:  fur farming
ISEIA Score : 12
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1975
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: restricted
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: high
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Riparian zones and wetlands.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)

Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: high
Competition: likely
Disease transmission: likely
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: likely
Physical alteration: high
Natural successions: high
Food web alteration: likely
More on impacts: Overgrazing by nutria causes the local extinction of aquatic plants and the destruction of reedbeds and fish nursery areas. Due to its burrowing activity, it degrades river banks and affects river flow. Rare marshbirds are affected by nest destruction, egg predation or habitat destruction. Nutria could also act as a reservoir of different pathologies and causes damages to agriculture. Nutria is included in the appendix to the recommendation no 77 of the Council of Europe as a species which has proved to be a threat to biological diversity and for which eradication is strongly recommended.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, D'aes Margo, Manet Benoît, Motte Grégory, Schockert Vinciane, Stuyck Jan
Published on:  18 September 2007
Last update:  08 April 2021
Baroch, J. & Hafner, M. (2002)
Nutria (Myoscaster coypus) in Louisiana.
Report from the Louisiana Departement of Wildlife and Fisheries by Genesis Laboratories, Inc., 71 pp.
Godin J. (2005)
Les espèces animales invasives des milieux aquatiques et humides du bassin Artois-Picardie
Agence de l'Eau Artois-Picardie.
ISSG (Invasive Species Specialist Group) (2006)
Online fact sheets
Global Invasive Species Database, IUCN.
Jojola, S.M., Witmer, G.& Nolte, D. (2005)
Nutria : an invasive rodent pest or valued resource?
Proceedings of the 11th Wildlife Damage Management Conference.
Libois, R. (2006)
Les mammifères non volants de la région wallonne : tendances des populations.
Dossier scientifique réalisé dans le cadre de l'élaboration du Rapport analytique 2006 sur l'Etat de l'Environnement wallon, Unité de Recherches zoogéographiques, Université de Liège, 127 pp.
Mitchell-Jones, A. J., Amori, G., Bogdanowicz, W., Kryštufek, B., Reijnders, P. J. H., Spitzenberger, F., Stubbe, M., Thissen, J. B. M., Vohralík, V. & Zima, J. (1999)
The Atlas of European Mammals.
Poyser, London.
Panzacchi, M., Bertolino, S., Cocchi, R., Genovesi, P. (2007)
Population control of coypu Myocastor coypus in Italy compared to eradication in UK: A cost–benefit analysis.
Wildlife Biology 13: 159-171.
Verbeylen, G. (2003)
Beverrat, Noord-Amerikaanse grijze eekhoorn, Aziatische grondeekhoorn.
In: S. Verkem et al. (eds), Zoogdieren in Vlaanderen, Natuurpunt Studie & JNM-Zoogdierenwerkgroep.

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