Nutria season in Perdido?
By Christian Fischer
A large nutria was found dead near the Theo Baars Bridge earlier this year and others have been spotted from time to time in marshy areas of Perdido Key.
If you see nutria, please contact Rick O’Connor, Escambia County’s Sea Grant Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org or enter the sighting into the data base at EDDMapS.org (contact Rick for assistance with the data base if needed).
Nutria (Myocastor coypus) are large rodents resembling beaver but with round tails. They are an invasive species introduced into the United States from South America perhaps a hundred years ago, generally for their fur. In the wild, they live near fresh or brackish water and can devastate large areas of marshland because of their rapid reproduction and voracious appetite for aquatic vegetation. They may also host a variety of pathogens. The nutria population in Louisiana reportedly went from 20 individuals to 20 million in just two decades; they are also present along the Mobile Bay watershed, but seem controlled in fresh water areas by alligators.