How can nutria be managed?

How can nutria be managed?

Nutria are mainly controlled by trapping, usually live spring traps and sometimes nets. A fence with buried pipelines may also be put around populations to contain them. In some states they are hunted, but since they are mostly active at night, this often causes a problem for hunters.

What is the nutria habitat like?

Nutria are found near permanent water sources, such as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. Though common in freshwater, nutria also inhabit brackish coastal water areas. Native to South America, nutria thrive in warmer climates, and their reproductive success is reduced by severe winter conditions.

Why is it so difficult to control or eradicate nutria?

Any drainage that holds water can be used by nutria as a travel route or home site. Consequently, eliminate standing water in drainages to reduce their attractiveness to nutria. This may be extremely difficult or impossible to accomplish in low-lying areas near coastal marshes and permanent bodies of water.

Do nutria have natural predators?

Predators of nutria include humans (through regulated harvest), alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), garfish (Lepisosteus spp.), bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), and other birds of prey, turtles, snakes such as the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), and several carnivorous mammals.

What problems do nutria cause?

In addition to damaging vegetation and crops, nutria destroy the banks of ditches, lakes, and other water bodies. Of greatest significance, however, is the permanent damage nutria can cause to marshes and other wetlands. In these areas, nutria feed on native plants that hold wetland soil together.

How long can a nutria live?

The life span of nutria is approximately 6.5 years in the wild, although the record life span of nutria in captivity is 12 years. Nutria is almost completely nocturnal. They live in burrows that are approximately one meter long.

What is the lifespan of a nutria?

approximately 6.5 years
They weigh an average of 12.0 pounds (5.4 kg) • They breed throughout the year. • Female nutria give birth to two to twelve young per litter, and have two or three litters per year. The life span of nutria is approximately 6.5 years in the wild, although the record life span of nutria in captivity is 12 years.

Do nutria rats carry diseases?

Nutria are vectors for wildlife diseases including tuberculosis and septicemia, which are transmissible to people, pets, and livestock.

Are there any benefits to the nutria plant?

Benefit(s): There are no direct benefits from the nutria population in its non-native habitat. As mentioned above, some nutria populations were established for the purpose of controlling invasive aquatic plant populations in lakes in the Gulf region.

When do nutria move to a new habitat?

Nutria move most in winter, due to an increased demand for food. Adults usually move farther than young. Seasonal migrations of nutria may also occur. Nutria living in some agricultural areas move in from marshes and swamps when crops are planted and leave after the crops are harvested.

What kind of damage does nutria do to a wetland?

Nutria feed on native plants that hold wetland soil together. Eating these plants, in addition to burrowing, causes the banks of lakes to collapse. Nutria can also damage flood control levees and weaken the foundations of roadbeds.

What to do about nutria in North Texas?

Protect small areas with partially buried fences. Use sheet metal shields to prevent gnawing on wooden and Styrofoam structures and trees near aquatic habitat. Install bulkheads to deter burrowing into banks. Improve drainage to destroy travel lanes. Manage vegetation to eliminate food and cover. Contour stream banks to control burrowing.