Myocastor coypus - (Molina, 1782)
Coypu
Other English Common Names: Nutria, nutria
Other Common Names: Ratão-do-Banhado
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Myocastor coypus (Molina, 1782) (TSN 180402)
French Common Names: castor des marais, ragondin
Spanish Common Names: Coypo, Nutri
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102549
Element Code: AMAFK01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Rodents
Image 11367

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Rodentia Myocastoridae Myocastor
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Myocastor coypus
Taxonomic Comments: Included in the Capromyidae or Echimyidae by some authors; placed in the Myocastoridae by Baker et al. (2003) and Woods and Kilpatrick (in Wilson and Reeder 2005).

Baker et al. (2003) applied the common name "Nutria or Coypu" whereas Woods and Kilpatrick (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) selected "Coypu" as the best choice because "Nutria" in Spanish means otter.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 15Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (30Dec2011)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (SNA), Arizona (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), Delaware (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Oklahoma (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA)
Canada Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Native to South America (southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile). Introduced in Louisiana in 1930s, transplanted in various parts of U.S. by weed control promoters. Most successful in southcentral U.S. U.S. range includes southeastern U.S., Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, and Maryland. Introduced also in British Columbia, Europe, northern Asia, and eastern Africa.

Short-term Trend Comments: U.S. population peaked in 1960s, declined in 1970s.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Native to South America (southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile). Introduced in Louisiana in 1930s, transplanted in various parts of U.S. by weed control promoters. Most successful in southcentral U.S. U.S. range includes southeastern U.S., Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, and Maryland. Introduced also in British Columbia, Europe, northern Asia, and eastern Africa.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, ARexotic, AZexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GAexotic, LAexotic, MDexotic, MSexotic, NCexotic, NEexotic, NJexotic, NMexotic, NVexotic, OKexotic, ORexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, WAexotic
Canada ONexotic

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005; Tognelli, 2002

Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeds year-round. Gestation lasts 130 days. Produces several litters of 3-5 young per year; estimated annual productivity was 8 young per female in Maryland; oldest females were 3 years old (Willner et al. 1979). Sexually mature in 4-8 months, depending on environmental conditions.
Ecology Comments: Home range probably is less than 2.5 acres. Can become very abundant. May displace muskrat populations, though the two species may coexist where conditions are "good" (Jackson 1990). In Maryland, population density was estimated at 3-16 per ha; trapper harvest, and in one year, freezing, accounted for most mortality (Willner et al. 1979). Commonly preyed on by alligators. Lifespan generally is 2-3 years or less.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland, River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, MEDIUM RIVER
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Prefers freshwater marshes; also in brackish marshes. Nests in burrows, abandoned muskrat houses, or in dense vegetation.
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Diet consists of a wide assortment of vegetation, particularly aquatic vegetation. Roots were most important in Maryland (Willner et al. 1979).
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Period of greatest activity is at night.
Length: 140 centimeters
Weight: 11400 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Important furbearer in some areas, but low pelt prices have resulted in low harvests in recent years. Raising captives for fur not viable, costs more than return on fur (Jackson 1990). Regarded as pest in some areas due to damage to sugarcane, rice crops (Evans 1970), dikes, and levees; damages corn, wheat, oats, alfalfa, and other crops in Oregon. Large populations have caused extensive damage to marshes in Louisiana (Jackson 1990), Maryland (Shen 1994, Washington Post, 16 January), and elsewhere in the southeastern U.S.
Management Summary
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Management Requirements: See Evans (1970) for information on when, where, and how to control. Easily trapped.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 03May1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Baker, R. J., L. C. Bradley, R. D. Bradley, J. W. Dragoo, M. D. Engstrom, R. S. Hoffman, C. A. Jones, F. Reid, D. W. Rice, and C. Jones. 2003a. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2003. Museum of Texas Tech University Occasional Papers 229:1-23.

  • Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp.

  • Caceres, N. C. 2004. Occurrence of Conepatus chinga (Molina) (Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae) and other terrestrial mammals in the Serra do Mar, Paraná, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 21:577-579.

  • Ceballos, G., J. Arroyo-Cabrales, and R. A. Medellín. 2002. The mammals of México: Composition, distribution, and conservation status. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 218:1-27.

  • Csuti, B., A. J. Kimmerling, T. A. O'Neil, M. M. Shaughnessy, E. P. Gaines, and M.M.P. Huso. 1997. Atlas of Oregon wildlife: distribution, habitat, and natural history. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis. 492 pp.

  • Davis, W. B. 1978. The mammals of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., Bull. No. 41. 294 pp.

  • Eisenberg, J. F. and K. H. Redford. 1989. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Northern Neotropics, Volume 1, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

  • Eisenberg, J. F. and K. H. Redford. 1999. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Central Neotropics, Volume 3, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

  • Evans, J. 1970. About nutria and their control. U.S. Fish& Wildl. Serv. Res. Publ. 86:1-65.

  • Hall, E. R. 1981a. The Mammals of North America, second edition. Vols. I & II. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York. 1181 pp.

  • Hamilton, W. J., Jr., and J. O. Whitaker, Jr. 1979. Mammals of the eastern United States. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York. 346 pp.

  • Jackson, D. D. 1990. Orangetooth is here to stay. Audubon, July 1990, pp. 89-94.

  • Johnson, R. E., and K. M. Cassidy. 1997. Terrestrial mammals of Washington State: Location data and predicted distributions. Volume 3 in Washington State Gap Analysis- Final Report (K. M. Cassidy, C. E. Grue, M. R. Smith, and K. M. Dvornich, eds.). Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, 304 pp.

  • Jones, J. K., Jr., R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, C. Jones, R. J. Baker, and M. D. Engstrom. 1992a. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occasional Papers, The Museum, Texas Tech University, 146:1-23.

  • Lowery, G. H., Jr. 1974. The mammals of Louisiana and its adjacent waters. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. 565 pp.

  • Mammalian Species, nos. 1-604. Published by the American Society of Mammalogists.

  • Parks Canada. 2000. Vertebrate Species Database. Ecosystems Branch, 25 Eddy St., Hull, PQ, K1A 0M5.

  • Sealander, J. A. and G. A. Heidt. 1990. Arkansas mammals: their history, classification, and distribution. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

  • Sealander, J.A. and G.A. Heidt. 1990. Arkansas Mammals: Their Natural History, Classification and Distribution. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville. 308 pp.

  • See SERO listing

  • Whitaker, J. O., Jr. 1996. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA. 937 pp.

  • Whitaker, J. O., and W. J. Hamilton. 1998. Mammals of the eastern United States. Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, New York.

  • Willner, G. R., J. A. Chapman, and D. Pursley. 1979. Reproduction, physiological responses, food habits, and abundance of nutria on Maryland marshes. Wildl. Monogr. No. 65:1-43.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Third edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. Two volumes. 2,142 pp. [Available online at: http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/ ]

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Third edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Two volumes. 2,142 pp. Available online at: http://vertebrates.si.edu/msw/mswcfapp/msw/index.cfm

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