Main (559) 855-5840 Ag and Rangeland (559) 260-3802 [email protected]

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has a local team that is devoted to removing the invasive species of Nutria from California. They have been spotted in CA since 2017. The Department has reported them along the San Joaquin River and more recently a report of one in Auberry.

The nutria is a large, light- to (typically) dark-brown, fur-bearing, aquatic rodent. Nutria strongly resemble beavers, but with arched backs and long, round, sparsely-haired tails, rather than wide and flattened like the beaver.


  • Nutria cause various kinds of damage through burrowing, intense herbivory, and carrying pathogens and parasites.
  • Nutria do not construct dens, they burrow, frequently causing water-retention or flood control levees to breach, weakening structural foundations, and eroding banks.
  • They can consume up to 25% of their body weight in above- and below-ground vegetation each day, but they waste and destroy up to 10 times as much, causing extensive damage to the native plant community and soil structure, as well as significant losses to nearby agricultural crops.
  • Nutria also serve as hosts for tuberculosis and septicemia, which are threats to humans, livestock, and pets.

Actions Taken if Found

Suspected observations or potential signs of nutria in California should be photographed and immediately reported to CDFW ONLINE, by email to [email protected], or by calling (866) 440-9530. Observations on state or federal lands should be immediately reported to local agency staff. If this species is captured, do not release it, immediately contact your local CDFW office or County Agricultural Commissioner.