Nuisance Animals

Nutria and muskrats are of concern in FWS wetlands because they can burrow through berms and eat wetlands vegetation. It may be possible to control animal burrows in the berms by temporarily raising the water level; if necessary, large-diameter rip-rap (4 to 6 in. or 100 to 150 mm) can be applied locally. Tree seedlings should also be removed from the berms and any grass cover routinely cut. An infestation of animals such as muskrat or nutria can eliminate all vegetation in a system, as these animals use cattails and bulrush as both a food source and nesting material. If such damage is noted, a control program should be instituted immediately. Live trapping and release may be successful, but in most cases it has been necessary to kill the animals to solve the problem. Fencing the wetland to exclude such animals has been tried but is not always successful.

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