Coypu problem or not?

Hi. Having watched a thread about Coypu on Anglo info for the last week, I thought I'd come here for some sanity on the situation. AI is ridiculous as the Admin are clearly anti hunting, and continually delete comments and bar members if there is anything remotely controversial.

Perhaps the Coypu are advertising on AI?

Any comments gratefully received.

They are an absolute nuisance. They eat your carrots from the bottom and leeks disappear down a hole.

Well yes. I lived in East Anglia for 30 or so where there are plenty of otters and never heard an angler moan at all. As you say Chris, they mean clean water and fish. Here in the Dordogne between Bergerac and Sarlat any mention of species preservation or reintroduction prompts excuses to begin with. Wolves will decimate the deer - err, sorry but I though the hunters shooting above quota and out of season were quite capable of that alone. Bears will contribute to that and be dangerous to humans. I think they mean that they would be protected, therefore create no hunting zones for their protection. Whatever you say about beavers, they will tell you the opposite. Otters eat all the fish. I have heard all manner of excuses plus justification for hunting seven days a week which means the yellow way-marked paths are also no go for safety's sakes that include deer doing extreme crop damage. I have so far not yet seen the deer who all agedly steal the maize... I can imagine them grazing the young plants but munching through the cobs? But heyho that is an excuse reason for shooting them, including does with young which I thought was not allowed but they tell me otherwise... Etc.

Not knowing where you are makes it a little difficult to comment specifically.

In most parts of France there is a good relationship between the Angling federations and what we can broadly call the wildlife associations including the ONCFS and an understanding that Otters mean clean water and clean water means fish.

European Beavers cause hardly any damage what so ever, some small dams usually where a stream meets a river which can cause some local flooding of farm land. Where this happens measures are put in place by the ONCFS to maintain the structure for the beavers but prevent the flooding. The truth is that Beavers are so few and far between where they are present in France that you would be lucky to find any evidence of their presence.

Both of course are fully protected species.


Lucky ones, I found two outside this morning and often find more slaughter than that. Our cats seem to have an endless supply. I like them. Far more than the coypu I must say.

Voles come into my house virtually every evening courtesy of the orange cat & get chucked out again sharpish (they are usually unharmed...)

Not exactly.

Le campagnol terrestre vit sous terre dans les prairies, mais aussi dans les jardins ou les vergers quand il y trouve une nourriture facilement accessible et app├ętissante (fruits en particulier).

European Water Vole Arvicola amphibious Campagnol Terrestre Previously known as Arvicola. Terrestris. Linnaeus proposed both amphibius and terrestris in 1758 on the same page,they are now considered conspecific by most researchers.

Although this species is protected in the UK due to threat of extinction there, no such protection applies in France where it is considered to be vermin.


More of a water vole, then...

Excuse me Chris. Mention reintroducing beaver here and the reaction is quite angry. The people will tell you about the damage the beaver cause. I simply said, following their comments, that the coypu is no worse than the beaver. I, as it happens, support reintroduction of several mammals including beaver but also wolves and bears that the hunting fraternity are so proud of their ancestors doing away with. As one might say, everything comes out rather subjective in the end. Personally, I would prefer the otters who apparently used to be in our little river to the coypu, but even saying that hereabouts has anglers up in arms!

It's a bit more complicated than that and leads to much confusion. "Mole rats" is a direct translation from Rat taupier but be very careful with all Campagnol species when translating to English. In fact be very careful with many French species names when translating to English.

Unfortunately when the original dictionary work was done little attention was paid to some words and they have simply been copied ever since. Couleuvre is one that many may know - it doesn't mean Grass snake.

I've made a list here for mammals.


Mole rats? The only European genus (spalacinae) doesn't extend its range farther west than the Balkans & all are v rare & on the red list for endangered species. So if you have any in your garden expect busloads of zoologists to beat a path to your door.

I never said that we were using any disease for an excuse to help us get rid of our mole problem. We know that we are much more likely to get a sprained ankle from both the moles and more likely, mole rats.

Well Brian I'm the person that posted the following..

As an invasive introduced species eradication would be the ideal solution but this is clearly not possible and all that can be done is to strictly manage populations especially in habitats that are of great importance for other threatened or fragile native species. Cage trapping followed by humane killing would seem to be the best approach provided the traps are regularly visited as per the regulations. This allows for the release of any non target species that are captured.

and this is the European Beaver....

As I mentioned elsewhere I work with wildlife in France and have done since before the internet. Frankly it's absurd to suggest that there is any comparison between the two species or that Coypu aren't causing immense harm to our native habitat and species.

Chris Luck

A bit unfair on the AI folks, there are some fun one there and some quite knowledgeable but they are systematically been deleted for being 'off topic' or some other grump from the editor/gauleiter.

There is a bounty for killing ragondin or castor des marais as they are known here. They are in the little river a couple of hundred meters from us and really do make a mess of the banks and absolutely decimate the plants near where they are. Like rats particularly but also many other mammals they carry Weill's disease which is nasty for humans but can also be transmitted to farm livestock, in which case the animals are condemned. I have worked in the Amazon and the eastern edge of the Andes a little bit, where they are native and endemic. When numbers get out of hand they really are a serious threat to all and sundry. Otherwise, they are hunted and eaten by indigenous people and are a bit like a strong tasting rabbit. They seem not to have discovered that here as yet.

As for AI, right on this occasion but pandering to fussy folk methinks, Google the little pests and find out more. Then you will find that they are actually no worse than the European beaver, they are related members of the castor genus, that is extinct in most of this continent and a protected species where it is still found and is being encouraged/reintroduced in a number of areas.

Thanks for the info on the moles, we have caught 10 this year, so it is good to know just what we might be dealing with.

You certainly won't find much sanity on AI. Dominique is correct in saying coypu are "nuisibles" and can damage crops, damage embankments and so on and they can carry Weils Disease but so can a lot of other mammals; rats, mice, and moles are important primary hosts and a wide range of other mammals including dogs, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, cows, sheep, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and certain marine mammals are able to carry and transmit the disease as secondary hosts. AI contributors seem to be mainly concerned about their "fishing lakes" and their doggies but seem to be unaware that their pooch can just as well catch leptospirosis from drinking from a puddle of from their favourite outside dog bowl which is also used a drinker by the local rat population.

Sad but true Domnique!

Went to the French, and they are vermin, they do carry Weil'disease. Basically to my sorrow, I must confess that the thread on AI is pretty accurate. on the Coypu problems.

I am starting to think that quite a lot of stuff advertise on AI.

The Coypu are or are not a problem depends on your point of view.

Pro: they are fun to watch, they are good to eat.

Con:They destroy banks of rivers and ponds they can give a nasty bite but you have to really try. They do destroy plants.

I will go look for their status on French sites see Ragondin.