Invasion of the river rat: Citizens advised to be on the lookout for Coypu specimens – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Invasion of the river rat: Citizens advised to be on the lookout for Coypu specimens

The people of Ireland have been warned to be on the lookout for Coypu, one of the world’s largest rodent species.

Coypu, commonly known as ‘river rats’, are native to South America, and the species is suspected to have been introduced to Ireland as a pet. As such, it is a foreign species here, and classified as invasive.

Coypu specimens measure up to 1mt in length and can weigh 5 to 7kg. While harmless to humans, they can can cause disruption to the ecosystem here.

Coypus have recently been spotted around Cork in recent times. The animal is easily recognizable due to its protruding yellow-orange front teeth.

People are advised to report any sightings to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

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