Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Nutria are large rodents that look like beavers with long, thin tails. They are one of the world's worst invasive species and they possibly exist in New Jersey.
They weigh 12 to 20 pounds. They are primarily nocturnal (active at night), with peak activity occurring near midnight.
Although they are native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, they have invaded North America, particularly in the southern U.S. They have been seen and trapped in New Jersey in places like Salem County's Lower Alloways Creek Township.
The problem with them, as with most invasive and non-native species, is that they eat vegetation that causes our native animals and fish to lose their habitats.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife would rather not get any reports of nutria and as far as I can find few valid reports of nutria have occurred recently by trappers via the annual trapper harvest survey.
You can report spotting a nutria (or fisher or bobcat) using the form at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/bobcat-fisher-nutria_sighting.pdf
In New Jersey, a Trapper Education course must be passed and a trapping license obtained to trap in the state - see http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/trapping_info.htm