Tags: california | nutria | infestation

California Scrambles to Contain Infestation of 20-Pound Rodents

California Scrambles to Contain Infestation of 20-Pound Rodents
Nutris (AP)

By    |   Friday, 16 February 2018 06:40 PM

Officials in California are spreading the word about a 20-pound, invasive species of rodent that's been located in wetlands across the state.

Several recent news reports, including one from the Los Angeles Times, talk about what's known as a nutria. Part of the rodent family, the animal can grow to more than 20 pounds and can be more than two feet long. They also have tails that sometimes are as long as a foot and a half, and fangs protruding from their upper and lower jaws, according to a National Geographic profile.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said recently that more than 20 of the animals have been spotted in Merced, Fresno and Stanislaus Counties. Nutrias are destructive to vegetation and can cause lasting damage to wetlands because they eat plants and their roots.

Female nutrias can give birth to as many as 200 babies each year, which has officials concerned about the spread of the destructive rodents.

The Golden State's Fish and Wildlife Department wrote last week, "If allowed to establish, nutria will severely impact California's resources, causing the loss of wetlands, severe soil erosion, damage to agricultural crops and levees and reduced stability of banks, dikes and roadbeds, as they have done in Louisiana, Chesapeake Bay and the Pacific Northwest. Nutria also degrade water quality and contaminate drinking supplies with parasites and diseases transmissible to humans, livestock and pets."

A Nutria Response Team has been set up to deal with the infestation.

"The response team is currently preparing an eradication plan, the first stage of which is determining the full extent of the infestation," the department wrote. "Assistance from local landowners and the public throughout the Central Valley, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and beyond is critical to successfully delineating the population."

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Officials in California are spreading the word about a 20-pound, invasive species of rodent that's been located in wetlands across the state.Several recent news reports, including one from the Los Angeles Times, talk about what's known as a nutria. Part of the rodent...
california, nutria, infestation
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2018-40-16
Friday, 16 February 2018 06:40 PM
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