Louisiana officials put bounty on nutria

spectr17

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Louisiana officials put bounty on prolific marsh-eating rodent

By Associated Press.

December 16, 2001

BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana wildlife officials have proposed a $4 bounty on nutria to help get rid of the yellow-toothed, marsh-eating rodent.
Experts say about 500,000 must be caught each year to stop them from eating away at Louisiana's vanishing marshland. Their voracious appetites denude or damage 100,000 acres a year, leaving them vulnerable to erosion.

Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries set a target of 120,000 nutria this year. Trappers brought in fewer than 30,000, a wildlife official recently told a legislative panel.

The idea of a $4 incentive was among 10 projects proposed by committees of a coastal restoration task force on Wednesday. Final decision will be made next month.

Greg Linscombe of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said he did not want to use the word bounty, but described the incentive as a complement to the nutria meat marketing effort that apparently hasn't helped trappers.

It's a hard-sell getting people to chow down on something that looks like a giant blunt-nosed rat, even with award winning recipes such as chef Roy Angelle's Nutria Eggroll or Philippe Parola's Ragondin Salad. (Ragondin is the French word for nutria.)
 

Bald Eagle

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I've never heard of these creatures.  What do they look like?  What are some of their characteristics?
 

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