[Pacific Northwest Rodent Family]

Group name:

Mammals (Rodent Family)


Nutrias are frequently found in streams, lakes, ponds, swamps and marshes west of the Cascades.

1. About two feet in length.

2. Nutria look like a beaver but lack the wide, flat tail.

3. The tail of the nutria is long, thin, hairy, but rat-like. The tail floats on the waters' surface.

4. Large chisel teeth (incisors) to gnaw on plants.

5. Nutria are not native to Oregon. They were originally brought from South America for use in fur coats. Their meat was also eaten at restaurants.

6. Currently, the nutria eats and causes the loss of many crop plants in Oregon. Furthermore, it may cause erosion by digging into stream beds or the levees that protect lowlands from floods.

Paul Slichter