Looks like Florida now has a bit of a capybara problem!
Florida is already bombarded with invasive species. The state’s invasive species are made up mostly of fish and reptiles that inhabit the southern portion and Everglades National Park. However, the state is now adding the largest rodent in the world to their invasive species list, the capybara!
That’s right. Reports suggest that an increasing number of wild capybaras are beginning to take root in a section of Florida’s panhandle.
Biologist Elizabeth Congdon, of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, recently stated that capybaras are now successfully living and breeding in northern Florida.
The capybara can be compared to an oversized guinea pig and is very similar in nature. In the wild it is found in certain areas in South America, and must have been released on accident into Florida’s ecosystem.
Congdon expressed her desire to study the animals and would appreciate it if people would not harvest them if they are spotted.
While the animals seem to pose little to no threat to other local wildlife, experts are still not sure as to how they will adapt to the Florida landscape in the long run. More time is needed to continue studying the population of these semi-aquatic rodents in order to determine the end result of their stay in northern Florida.