MARINE NOTICE, No 040 of 2017

Map Inland Waterways Ireland;© Waterways Ireland; click to "enlarge"
Inland Waterway’s, © WI

MARINE NOTICE, No 40 of 2017

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Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all users of a large invasive rodent species that is highly damaging to River, Lake and Canal banks.

(Source: Shutterstock)

Yellow/orange front teeth, webbed feet, white muzzle (Shutterstock)
Up to 1m long (Eamonn Brennan)

The Coypu:

    • Are highly invasive impacting on wildlife, river and canal bank stability and is a pest of agriculture crops.
    • Eradication programmes can cost several millions of euro and are not always successful.
    • Carry a number of diseases of importance to humans and domestic animals.
    • Is a EU Regulated species of Union concern with trade, transport and reproduction restrictions in place [No.1143/2014]
    • Recent Sighting of a Coypu in Cork City in 2017 raises concern of further spread.

What does it look like?

    • Large semi-aquatic rodent up to 1 meter in head to tail length.
    • Features same in juveniles.
    • It can weigh 5-9kg.
    • It has webbed hind feet.
    • Dark fur often with lighter ends and has a white muzzle,
    • Has long cylindrical tail (not fur tail like otter) and small slightly protruding ears.
    • Distinctive features are large bright orange-yellow incisor (front) teeth usually visible.
    • Coypu are generally found near permanent water.

Please do not confuse it with the Common otter (shown below)

Source: Otter

Please keep a look out for these creatures along the waterways and Report sightings with photographs to:

For more information:

Date issued: May, 2017 V 1.0

C.J.Lawn, Inspector of Navigation, 6 Jun, 2017

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