Imported to Louisiana and other states in the 1930s, coypu (aka nutria) were initially raised on fur farms for their lustrous pelts. When a few escaped into the wild, their population quickly exploded into an invasive army that destroys wetlands by eating marsh grasses and burrowing into levees and bayousides.
Although damage is down due to the success of the state’s Coastwide Nutria Control Program, which pays a $5 bounty for the tails of captured nutria, the marsh-munchers continue to impact over 6,200 acres of coastal wetlands each year. They have been spotted as far west as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in California, raising great alarm and additional urgency on population control.
Currently, 98% of nutria are simply destroyed after capture. Reclaiming their pelts into useful and fashionable apparel encourages bounty hunters to increase their nutria yield, decreasing damage to the wetlands. Block nutria.