Today’s “Fun Friday” post features a critter I had never seen before, only in books and field guides. The Nutria (Myocastor coypus), or “Coypu” is native to South America and the Caribbean; it was introduced in Louisiana in the 1930’s, for their fur. But they escaped from captivity during the hurricane floodings in the 1940’s. Multiplying profusely in the wild, their numbers skyrocketed. With the collapsing of the great fur industry in the 1980’s and 1990’s, their numbers increased even more. Today, they are often “pests”, undermining stream banks, depleting wild vegetation and raiding rice/other crops.
When I first saw this mammal swimming/crawling about the vegetation around the boardwalk, I thought it was a large muskrat. But once it could be clearly seen, it was obvious it was much larger than a muskrat. Nutria can reach 25 pounds in weight, making it look like “a muskrat on steroids” :o)
Here are a few of the images I captured during my short visit with the Nutria:
Coming up, more posts of the target species of this trip, the endangered Whooping Cranes.
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 7D Mark II body
- Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
- Handheld, with IS “On”
- ISO 200
- Aperture f/6.3
- Shutter 1/80 sec. to 1/100 sec.