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Giant Rodents Have Invaded Northern California

Some unusually large rodents have invaded Northern California.  

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning San Joaquin Valley residents to be on the lookout for some large, semi-aquatic rodents that have been reproducing the last few years. 

The Myocastor coypus, or Nutria as people commonly know it, looks something akin to the bastard child of a beaver and muskrats. Nutrias can grow to up to 2 feet long, and have a 12-inch tail. Adult specimens can weigh as much as 20 pounds, or the size of a small dog. 

The rodents' main hobbies seem to be eating and breeding. One rodent can eat up to ten times their weight in vegetation daily. Female nutrias can reproduce and give birth to up to 200 offspring per year. 

The Nutria are native to South America and don't belong in California. Because of that, the CDFW has established an eradication program to eliminate the Nutria from the Golden state. 

Suspected observations or potential signs of nutria should be photographed and immediately reported to CDFW’s Invasive Species Program online, by e-mail to invasives@wildlife.ca.gov, or by phone at (866) 440-9530. Observations on state or federal lands should be immediately reported to local agency staff at that land. CDFW has a nutria webpage and a downloadable PDF with photos and detailed descriptions of these rodents, their preferred habitat and the environmental threats they present.

Photo: Getty Images


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