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Coypu, Myocastor coypus


Short description of Myocastor coypus, Coypu

The coypu is a large aquatic rodent, resembling a small beaver but with a rounded, (not flattened) tail.  The fur is coarse and dark brown, with a whitish patch on the muzzle.  Large orange incisor teeth are usually visible.

Description of Myocastor coypus, Coypu status in GB

The coypu was well established in eastern England by the early 1960s, with a peak population of around 200,000, but was eradicated in 1989.

Habitat summary: Myocastor coypus, Coypu

GB distribution was extensive along river systems and in wetlands, especially those with large areas of reeds, rushes or other aquatic plants.

Overview table

Environment: Terrestrial and Freshwater
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Brazil, Argentina Distrito Federal, Bolivia, Aisén, Antofagasta, Atacama, Biobío, Coquimbo, Desventurados Is., Juan Fernández Is., La Araucania, Los Lagos, Magellanes, Maule, O'Higgins, Santiago, Tarapacá, Valparaíso, Paraguay, Uruguay
Functional type: Herbivore
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Location of first record: Horsham
Date of first record: 1932

Distribution map

Map of the UK with areas shaded to show the UK distribution of Coypu

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

John Marchant, updated 2020 by David Noble

Last updated:

October 9th 2020

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