"'Swamp Rats' on the Move as Winters Warm"

"As fans of 'Duck Dynasty' can attest, hunting for nutria – big, water-loving rodents with bright orange front teeth – is hugely popular in Louisiana. This might not be exclusive to the bayou for long. As winters warm, nutria could migrate across the country, according to new research."

"Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey found that during a recent string of mild winters, nutria populations expanded northward in the United States. Left uncontrolled, that trend could continue over the next 40 years, the data show. Climate change models predict milder winter temperatures across the country, and the new study suggests that could lead to nutria extending their range big time in the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi Valley and the Eastern Seaboard.

'In the year 2050 we show that almost all of the states are suitable for nutria,' said study author Catherine Jarnevich, a research ecologist with the USGS. The research, not yet published, was presented at the recent meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Minneapolis."

Brett Israel reports for The Daily Climate August 12, 2013.

Source: Daily Climate, 08/12/2013