Nutria total down 24 percent from last year
HOUMA, La.- It was about an average year for nutria hunters, with 338,512 tails turned in for a $5 bounty.
Figures at the Coastwide Nutria Control Program website show that's about 24 percent down from last year's record of 445,963.
Officials say killing at least 400,000 nutria a year could keep them from destroying marshland. Since 2002-03, the total has averaged about 323,300. Last year was the first to meet the 400,000 goal.
Figures on the control program's website show nutria damage to wetlands has dropped considerably since the program began.
In the late 1990s, surveys estimated that nutrias had destroyed about 100,000 acres of wetlands. A survey completed in April estimated the past year's damage at about 6,300 acres.