WDFW LogoWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife
WDFW LogoConservation

To report an AIS
sighting or to find out
more information call

Questions or comments regarding the state's Aquatic Invasive Species and Ballast Water Management Programs may be directed to:

Allen Pleus
AIS Coordinator
(360) 902-2724

View WAC 220-12-090
Classification - Nonnative aquatic
animal species with photos

Myocastor coypu. (Nutria)

Animal Mammals
Family: Myocastoridae
Classification: Prohibited

Nutria Destroyed Marshland
Destroyed marsh land - USFWS

Nutria are large rodents that look like beavers with long, thin tails. Nutria weigh between 12-15 lbs. with males. They are native to South America. Originally they were imported as fur animals, their coat has a dense grayish underfur with long, glossy, brownish guard hairs. They inhabit fresh and brackish marsh lands, and have escaped into the wild in 16 states, including Washington. Nutria are prolific breeders, breeding year around and producing litters of 4-5 young. In Louisiana the population went from 20 to 20 million in 20 years. Nutria eat up to ¼ of their weight each day in marsh grasses and other plants, removing habitat needed by other animal species and water fowl, and degrading wetlands.