Myocastor coypus (Molina, 1782)

English Coypu ISEIA: C1. IAS of EU concern.
Lëtzebuergesch Biwerrat EASIN
Français Ragondin Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Coypu Wikipedia - Français - Ragondin Wikipedia - Deutsch - Nutria Wikipedia - Nederlands - Beverrat
Deutsch Nutria Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Myocastor coypus
Nederlands Beverrat Back to the list of vertebrates

Report the species

Report Myocastor coypus to the National Museum of Natural History.

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Myocastor coypus Molina, 1782 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux & iNaturalist, 2019-10-19.

Myocastor coypus was first documented in Luxembourg in February 1954 near the Alzette river in Hunsdorf, Municipality of Lorentzweiler (Heuertz 1957: 50). Currently, it is only observed sporadically in Luxembourg. Because of its occurrence in the bordering regions of France (Chiers, Moselle) and Germany (Saar), it is likely that the species will populate national watercourses within the near future (Becker-Krüll & Schaefer 2013).

On 19th September 2017, a forester captured a coypu in Osweiler (commune of Rosport, eastern Luxembourg) and put it to sleep. This detection of an IAS of Union concern (Anonymous 2016) has been notified by the Luxembourg authorities on 26 September 2017 and an Eradication Measure Set has been submitted as well on 26 September 2017, pursuant to Article 17(1) of R. 1143/2014 (Anonymous 2014).

Overgrazing by coypus can cause local extinctions of aquatic plants, the destruction of reedbeds and of fish nursery areas. Due to its burrowing activity, the species degrades river banks and affects river flow. Rare marshbirds are affected by nest destruction, egg predation or habitat destruction. The coypu could also act as a reservoir of different pathologies and causes damages to agriculture. Coypus are included in the appendix to the recommendation no 77 of the Council of Europe as a species which has proved to be a threat to biological diversity and for which eradication is strongly recommended.

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol: C0 (3+2+1+1) (Ries et al. 2014: 199).


  • Anonymous, 2014. Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. Official Journal of the European Union 4.11.2014 L 317: 35-55.
  • Anonymous, 2016. Commission implementing regulation (EU) 2016/1141 of 13 July 2016 adopting a list of invasive alien species of Union concern pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Official Journal of the European Union L 189: 4-5.
  • Becker-Krüll, L. & P. Schaefer, 2013. Jagdbare Wildtierarten Luxemburgs. Administration de la nature et des forêts, Luxembourg, 96 pp.
  • Heuertz, M., 1957. Premières captures de rats musqués (Ondatra zibethicus L.) au grand-duché de Luxembourg. Archives de la section des sciences de l’Institut grand-ducal N.S. 24: 41-51.
  • Pir, J.B. & L. Schley, 2015. Développement des connaissances sur la répartition et l’écologie des mammifères au Luxembourg entre 1990 et 2015. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 116: 437-455.
  • Ries, C., M. Pfeiffenschneider, Engel, E., J.-C. Heidt & M. Lauff, 2014. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of vertebrates in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 115: 195-201. [PDF 247 KB]
  • Schley, L., C. Schanck, M. Schaul & C. Sinner, 2001. Neubürger und Heimkehrer unter den Wildtieren Luxemburgs. Beiträge zur Jagd- und Wildforschung 26: 141-154.

Suggested citation of this webpage

Ries, C. & M. Pfeiffenschneider (Eds.), 2019. Myocastor coypus (Molina, 1782). In: - Invasive Alien Species in Luxembourg. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: [Accessed 2019-10-19].

 Last updated on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.