Food habits of nutria (Myocastor coypus) at Spring Lake, Hays County, Texas

Date

2002-05

Authors

Towns, Kathleen

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Abstract

I investigated the food habits of nutria at Spring Lake from 1998 to 2000 using microhistological analysis of stomach contents. Forty-four nutria were collected during the year. Vegetation surveys were conducted at Spring Lake using the Daubenmire technique to estimate aquatic macrophyte cover. The availability of aquatic macrophytes at Spring Lake was compared with aquatic macrophyte use by nutria to determine if they fed selectively. Three plant species comprised the bulk of the diet: coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), and fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana). Results of Chisquare analysis with related confidence intervals suggest that nutria ate coontail and fanwort more than expected and hydrilla less than expected.

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Keywords

Myocastor coypus, Spring Lake, Hays County, Food habits

Citation

Towns, K. (2002). <i>Food habits of nutria (Myocastor coypus) at Spring Lake, Hays County, Texas</i> (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

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