Ecological Risk Screening Summary - Nutria (Myocastor coypus) - High Risk

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Species that are considered high risk have a well-documented history of invasiveness in at least one location globally, and a high or medium climate match to the contiguous United States.

M. coypus is a semi-aquatic mammal native to South America that has been transported around the globe because its value as a fur-bearer. In North America, established populations are currently concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, the Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic regions. However, nearly all of the contiguous U.S. is a high climate match for M. coypus, indicating potential for the species to become established in new locations. The impacts of introduced M. coypus are felt by both plants and animals. M. coypus has caused extensive damage to wetland vegetation in the southern U.S. It has been observed to destroy waterbird nests and its feeding habits reduce availability of food and reproductive hosts for endangered species in Japan. The overall risk of this species is high.

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High Risk
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
Aquatic invasive species cause tremendous harm to our environment, our economy, and our health. They can drive out and eat native plants and wildlife, spread diseases, and damage infrastructure. We work to protect our waterways and the communities that depend on them from the threat of invasive...
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