Nutria (Myocastor coypus) are large rodents that are semi-aquatic nature. They are native to South America, in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay are found. In the 1930s, they were imported into the United States as part of the fur trade and industry were released either intentionally or accidentally into freedom. They can now be found in about 20 different countries. Nutria are omnivores eat with a big appetite and the ability to run many different types of plants.
Plant Food Sources
Nutria have a varied diet and can feed on many different types of plants. They live in semi-aquatic and marsh to feed on different types of marsh grasses and vegetation. Olney third place are saltmarsh hay, bullwhip, cattails, duck-weed, alligator weed and smooth cordgrass marsh vegetation types of nutria have known gorge on. Nutria also eat grass, grass and grain in houses and fields near swampy areas. They often eat the base of plants to damage and will dig for roots and rhizomes in winter.
Other food sources
Nutria feed almost entirely plants, but near a coast they can feed on other organisms. You can feed on clams, snails or mussels including and other small creatures. It is not uncommon for these animals feed only on plants, but there can eat some meat, they are classified as omnivores, not herbivores.
The two periods in which this type eats most are just after sunset and just before sunrise. You can eat both on land and in the water and will eat 25 percent of their body weight per day, making them large consumers of plant life. Males are slightly larger than females, with the average weight of 12 pounds and an average of 4 pounds of plant material is consumed daily. You can just eat any kind of plant material, and eat what is easiest for them.
Nutria have caused extensive damage to the wetlands in Louisiana because of their feeding. The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources conservatively estimated that 80,000 hectares of wetlands have been damaged by overstocking of nutria. If the vegetation from the surface of the wetland is removed, the soil is exposed to tidal waters and is washed away. The plant root systems of these areas are also damaged, making it very difficult for vegetation to grow back. This problem occurs in most wetlands where nutria live, not only in Louisiana.