Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Proceedings of the 15th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. (J. B. Armstrong, G. R. Gallagher, Eds). 2013.


Detecting rare individuals is a critical component of an effective invasive species eradication program, particularly for prolific species such as nutria (Myocaster coypus). Early detection and rapid response protocols rely on the ability to detect newly invading animals, and effective monitoring of previously trapped areas requires discovering residual animals before they establish new populations. We present several observer-based and device-based methods that we have developed for detecting nutria including: shoreline surveys, detection rafts/platforms, detector dogs, remote triggered cameras, and ground searches. We discuss the need for evaluating method specific probabilities of detection and offer suggestions for reducing the likelihood of failing to detect nutria when they are present.