A mortality survey of free range nutria (Myocastor coypus)
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A review of the literature revealed little information on natural occurring diseases in wild nutria. In this report, a summary of necropsies performed on free-range animals from four different geographical areas, is presented. Fifty-two percent of the nutria had trauma (mostly by predation and road kill), 15% had poisoning by different toxics, and 11% had starvation. The rest died due to infectious diseases and miscellaneous causes, while 21 individuals had no significant lesions. The occurrence of infections seems sporadic with a far lower prevalence than in the farmed animals, while the incidence of poisoning is rather high. In addition, anthrax was diagnosed in two individuals. Thus, nutria are probably subject to mortality from a number of different human-induced causes rather than natural ones. Analysis of these records may provide insight into prevention of problem and better management practices.