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Old Monday 17th April 2017, 12:55   #1
opisska
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Coypu/beaver/muskrat ID Czech/Poland

I was looking for something similar to the Bird ID forums we have here for mammals, but didn't really find anything besides this very section of our very forum. I have to restrain myself from posting all the unidentified mammals I have at once now :) But this one topic really bugs me; I thought that when the Mammal ID book (Aulagnier et al.) finally came I'd be smarter, but not really.

All three species are widespread across both of my countries (Czech Republic and Poland) and even though theoretically they are very different, I find them very hard. There are plenty of very tame animals in Prague and around, which are quite certainly Coypus, so I picked images that could be something else. I think the first three here are muskrats, but the couple in the last image was just so huge - but they never showed any hint of tail, making it so much more difficult.

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old Monday 17th April 2017, 13:24   #2
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I'd say the third one seems to be a Muskrat (the tail looks vertically flattened to me), the last is Coypu and I'm unsure about the other two though the first could also be a Muskrat - it certainly isn't a Beaver but I can't rule out a young Coypu.

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Old Monday 17th April 2017, 15:03   #3
Julian Perry
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Hi Jan,

In my opinion the first three photos are Muskrat:

1. Small ears & creamy cheeks
2. Pink claws
3. Laterally flattened tail

And the fourth photo Coypu
4. Large head & humped back

Hope that helps
Julian
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Old Wednesday 19th April 2017, 17:55   #4
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Thanks both! So even though I have seen endless cut trees, my quest to actually see a European beaver continues (I've seen one American in Patagonia at least :))
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Old Wednesday 19th April 2017, 20:28   #5
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I thought that American Beaver was restricted to Northern North America? Have they been introduced to Patagonia?
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Old Wednesday 19th April 2017, 21:21   #6
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Originally Posted by Swannery Steve View Post
I thought that American Beaver was restricted to Northern North America? Have they been introduced to Patagonia?
Yes; a serious invasive pest there. They're trying to remove them at the moment.
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 08:45   #7
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Cheers, yes just did some research, I should of done that before posting ��
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 11:14   #8
Farnboro John
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I thought that American Beaver was restricted to Northern North America? Have they been introduced to Patagonia?
They are in parts of Northern Europe as well, and need removing from there before reintroduction of native European Beavers can succeed.

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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 11:29   #9
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They are in parts of Northern Europe as well, and need removing from there before reintroduction of native European Beavers can succeed.

John
I thought American Beavers were only in Finland, where there are also European Beavers so not in need of reintroduction. Are they in other countries as well? I remember seeing a fairly recent paper from Finland concluding that their dam building activities are pretty much equal. I'm not sure what happens when the two species come into contact.
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 13:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Yes; a serious invasive pest there. They're trying to remove them at the moment.
This close encounter of mine with an American Beaver was on Tierra del Fuego, where the situation is the worst, because as it's separated from the mainland, the pumas aren't found there and thus the beavers have no natural enemies. The scale of landscape changes they create is stunning, essentially the whole mountains are now one huge beaver playground. I heard the mainland has it better, but it's probably still an important issue.
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