The Last Stand for the Mouse Beaver
Nutria, also called Myocaster coypus (latin for mouse beaver), are large rodents native to South America that wreaked havoc on the Chesapeake Bay's wetlands when they were imported in the 1940's for the fur trade.
But now nutria face their last stand on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Only a few are left after an intensive, more than decade-long trapping campaign by federal and state government agencies.
Wildlife managers have been trying to eradicate the invasive species because they eat the roots of wetlands plants. This accelerates the erosion of marshes that are important breeding grounds for fish and birds, and also work as water pollution filters that clean the Chesapeake Bay.