Cute but contemptible!
Constant battle with contemptible Coypu!
Here at Mas Bas we have a running battle with Coypu so here’s an update showing just what damage they can do! Every 2 years or so we have to rebuild the walkway between our beautiful carp lakes, because they have burrowed and collapsed areas the bank.
Coypu, cute but a real bankside barbarian, were imported from South America to Europe during the 20thC by the fur trade, released after becoming commercially unviable, they proliferated during the 60’ and 70’s and happily was totally eradicated in the UK during the 80’s.
Unhappily for us, it still proliferates in the wetlands surrounding lakes and rivers in France, burrowing deep into the banks and eating huge quantities of roots and stems they are the cause of enormous environmental damage. Producing between 1 and 13 young twice each year, they are a big problem getting out of hand extremely quickly unless regularly destroyed.
Here at Mas Bas, Lotus Lake holds a particular delight to these vegetarians as they are quite partial to lotus roots (the size of a banana) and are capable of diving and burrowing deep into the silt to dig up these luscious delights.
So Gilles has to literally rebuild the banks. Wooden stakes are driven into the ground and timber fixed onto their bankside edge. The space is then filled with huge amounts of soil and compressed to recreate a stable bank.
Apart from the upset they cause us as lakeowners, coypu (often mistaken for otters) are not attracted by rubbish and therefore do not come around the houses hoping for a freebie from the bins. They are seen generally at dawn and dusk either swimming across the lake or grooming on the bank, and as I said in the beginnning, looking really quite cute.
However, despite all our efforts of one thing I am sure, just like Arnie , ‘they will be back!’