Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)

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The Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris ) is the largest of rodents, weighing up to 66 kg, with a sturdy, barrel-shaped body and short, vestigial tail. Capybaras are sometimes killed by farmers as pests, either because they may eat cereal or fruit crops, or they are viewed as a competitor with domestic livestock.  There is some evidence that they bite people causing injury, potentially requiring hospitalisation. 

The capybara occurs over much of South America, to the east of the Andes, from Colombia and Venezuela south to northern Argentina. They are found throughout almost all countries of South America (except Chile). The capybara inhabits a variety of lowland habitats close to water, ranging from rivers and lakes in rainforest, to marshes, brackish wetlands, swamps, and seasonally flooded grassland and savannah. The capybara is most numerous on the seasonally flooded grasslands of the Llanos in Venezuela and Colombia, and the Pantanal of Brazil.

The TAP assessed the capybara as being moderately dangerous to humans, having a low risk of establishment and high consequence if it established in Tasmania. Consequently, the TAP assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing capybaras into Tasmania is serious.

The capybara is available for import only for those Wildlife Exhibition Licence holders approved for the keeping of serious risk species.

  Capybara Species Profile   (411Kb)

  Capybara risk assessment   (181Kb)

 

Contact

Wildlife Management Branch
134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
HOBART TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 4305
Fax: 03 6173 0253
Email: wildlife.reception@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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