Nutria in Texas (and the United States)
by TPWD staff
The Nutria is a large, semi-aquatic exotic rodent that has created problems for coastal marsh and bald cypress swamps in Texas. Nutria populations have swelled in recent years due to the collapse of the fur trade industry (for which they were originally bred during the first half of the twentieth century).
These pesky rodents feed on planted seedlings and saplings, and have consequently denuded hundreds of thousands of acres of marshlands and floodplains along the Gulf Coast. Efforts to regenerate destroyed regions have been futile, as nutria have been observed to decimate replanted vegetation even further…
(read more: Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.)
(photos: T - jennrich | Flickr; B - Arman Werth | Flickr)
USGS paper about Worldwide introductions of Nutria: