Nutria, originally native to subtropical and temperate South America, it has since been introduced to North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, primarily by fur ranchers. Although it is still valued for its fur in some regions, its destructive feeding and burrowing behaviors make this invasive species a pest throughout most of its range.
Besides breeding quickly, each coypu consumes large amounts of
vegetation. An individual consumes about 25% of its body weight daily,
and feeds year-round.
They eat the base of the above-ground stems of plants, and often will dig through the organic soil for roots and rhizomes to eat.
Their creation of "eat-outs", areas where a majority of the above- and
below-ground biomass has been removed, produces patches in the
environment, which in turn disrupts the habitat for other animals and
humans dependent on marshes.
Last year we saw only one wondering along this stretch of the river Po, now, we saw at least 8 little nutrias having their meals on this side. Should any concern be raised?