01 Oct 2022

Invasive Species alert in Leitrim waters

Large invasive rodent species could be in Leitrim waters

Invasive Species alert in Leitrim  waters

Rodent with Yellow/orange front teeth, webbed feet, white muzzle

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all users of a large invasive rodent species that is highly damaging to river, lake and canal banks.

The species called Coypu has yellow/orange front teeth, webbed feet and white muzzle are highly invasive and are  impacting on wildlife, river and canal bank stability, it is also believed it is a pest of agriculture crops.

The species could carry a number of diseases of importance to humans and domestic animals, it is an EU Regulated species of Union concern with trade, transport and reproduction restrictions in place 

What does it look like?
Coypu is a large semi-aquatic rodent up to 1 meter in head to tail length. It can weigh 5-9kg, has webbed hind feet and dark fur often with lighter ends and has a white muzzle.

Distinctive features are large bright orange-yellow incisor (front) teeth usually visible. Coypu are generally found near permanent water.

The species is not to be confused with the common otter:common otter

If you see the Coypu in Leitrim water send photographs or sightings to or or your local National Parks and Wildlife Ranger.

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