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Coypu: Myocastoridae

Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Coypus And PeopleHABITAT, CONSERVATION STATUS

Coypus adapt well to a wide range of habitats, including rainforest, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, scrub forest, Coypus are not native to the United States, but were brought to Louisiana to raise for fur. A number escaped, and now breed in the wild. (© YVA Momatiuk and John Eastcott/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.) grassland, wetland such as swamps and marshes, and the banks or shores of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.

Coypus are not currently threatened, according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Their numbers are declining along many rivers and lakes in Argentina due to hunting and trapping by humans. The eradication efforts in the United States, France, and Japan are likely to significantly reduce populations in those areas.



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Eisenberg, John F., and Kent H. Redford. Mammals of the Neotropics: The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Macdonald, David. The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2001.

National Research Council. "Coypu." In Microlivestock: Little-Known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1991. Online at http://books.nap.edu/books/030904295X/html/217.html (accessed on July 12, 2004).

Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.


"Coypu Invasion." Sea-River Newsletters (October 27, 2003): 118.

Felipe, A. E., et al. "Characterization of the Estrous Cycle of the Myocastor coypus (Coypu) by Means of Exfoliative Colpocytology." Journal of Mastozoologia Neotropical (July–December 2001): 129–137.

Guichón, M. Laura, et al. "Social Behavior and Group Formation in the Coypu (Myocastor coypus) in the Argentinean Pampas." Journal of Mammalogy (February 2003): 254–262.

Kamerick, Megan. "Nutria Bounty Lures Hunters into Effort to Save Land." New Orleans CityBusiness (December 23, 2002).

Nickens, Edward T. "Exotic Species: Trying to Show the Door to a Marsh Munching Immigrant from South America."National Wildlife (December–January 1999): 14.

Woods, Charles A., et al. "Myocastor coypus." Mammalian Species (June 5, 1992): 1–8.

Web sites:

D'Elia, Guillermo. "Myocastor coypus." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Myocastor_coypus.html (accessed on July 12, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals