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Worldwide Distribution, Spread of, and Efforts to Eradicate the Nutria (Myocastor coypus)

South America

  • Nutria have a subtropical to temperate range.

  • Local extinction due to overharvest led to the development of nutria fur farms in the late 1800s and early 1900s; however, these farms were not successful (Ashbrook, 1948).

  • There are two common names used in the literature for Myocastor coypus. The Amerindian word "coypu" is generally used in Europe and Latin America. This use is probably meant to avoid confusion with, the term "nutria," which is Spanish for carnivores commonly called "otters" (Lutra sp.) in English. In North America and Asia, the term "nutria" is the more commonly used one for Myocastor coypus.

  • There are several subspecies of nutria in their native range: Myocastor coypus coypus, M. coypus bonarieusis, M. coypus melanups, and M. coypus santacruza

  • Most literature indicates the nutria species introduced around the world was M. coypus bonariensis and was from the more northern (subtropical) part of their range.

South America Nutria Map

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