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I have captured this series of photographs for the Readers' Photos of La Vanguardia of the coipú in the Aiguamolls del Empordà, in Castelló d'Empúries. It is an invasive animal, every day more abundant in this area of Catalonia.
This rodent, similar to the beaver, is native to the south of South America. It lives in several types of wetlands, so it is no wonder that it feels at home in the Aiguamolls del Empordà.
He entered Catalonia a little over a decade ago from France. It first settled in the Muga and Fluvià river basins, in Girona, but it has also been sighted in the Ter and is spreading south.
The Generalitat sets up traps to capture and sacrifice them in the Aiguamolls Natural Park, but the coipu resists. And it is a nightmare, for example, for the rice fields of Pals. Its growth endangers the local fauna and flora.
An attempt to settle in Catalonia was already detected in the 1970s, when several specimens escaped from coypus breeding farms, but they did not survive because they did not adapt to low temperatures. But now, climate change has upset the thermometers.
In the places where it is most common, it is captured to use its meat as food, but especially its skin, used in fur processing.
The coypu is a large rodent, weighing between 4 and 10 kg. It reaches 40 to 60 cm in body length, with a 30 to 45 cm tail. It can be reproduced throughout the year.