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Fauna River Charente
Intrusive animal species


The coypu is a mammal rodent; it comes from Argentina and lives in the wet zones such as swamps, ditches, rivers or ponds.
Adults can weight up to 10 kg but the average weight is 6 or 7 kg.

The coypu was introduced in France at the end of the 19 th century, for the exploitation of its fur.
The coypu is an herbivorous animal which eats a very big variety of plants like wheat or the corn, which allows it to quickly adapt to very different circles.
The coypu is a mostly noctural animal but it is not rare to see it in the daytime. At present in France and naturally on the river the Charente , the coypu is considered as harmful.
Indeed, in South America , this animal is naturally regulated by it predators, like the caiman or the puma. But in our regions, the grown-up coypu has no natural predator, and only the young coypus can be the prey of the fox, the great blue heron and the dog.
The coypu cause e lot of damage among which we can mention the destruction of agricultural productions, such as cereals, or the digging of dens in banks or dikes which engenders an important financial contribution of regions and departments.

Procambarus clarkii/Louisiana Crawfish

The Louisiana crawfish is a freshwater crawfish species that come from the southern part of the centre of the United States, Louisiana. It was introduced in France in the 70s because of the decrease of the native species. This crawfish, of a dark red colour, has big crowbars and is approximately 20 cms long. It is omnivorous and eats frog tapdoles, small fish and of all kind of larvae.
It proliferates fast and so engenders numerous problems for the ecosystem. This crawfish is very harmful because it is a carrier of a mushroom which decimates the native crawfish, it increases the insalubrity of the water and destabilizes the banks by its long dens of about 2 metres. Futhermore, its proliferation is very disturbing in our regions because there can be up to two or three tons of Louisiana crawfish by hectare. Its predators are black kites, great blue herons and white storks.