U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Bull Environ Contam Toxicol (2010) 84:698–702; DOI 10.1007/s00128-010-9974-3


Nutria, Myocastor coypus, populations must be reduced when they cause substantial wetland damage. Control can include the rodenticide zinc phosphide, but the potential impacts to American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis, must be assessed. The mean amount of zinc phosphide per nutria found in nutria carcasses was 50 mg. Risk assessment determined that a conservative estimate for maximum exposure would be 173 mg zinc phosphide for a 28 kg alligator, or 6.2 mg/kg. Probit analysis found an LD50 for alligators of 28 mg/kg. Our studies suggest that the use of zinc phosphide to manage nutria populations would pose only a small risk to alligators.