If nutrias are hard to spot now in Periwinkle Creek, it’s probably because a contractor for the Albany Parks Department got rid of about 40 of the pesky rodents a couple of months ago.
City Manager Peter Troedsson called attention to nutrias in his most recent memo to the city council. “Every few years,” he wrote, “Park Maintenance traps and euthanizes nutria along Periwinkle Creek where they have caused infrastructure problems – burrowing under sidewalks and into banks of the creek. This is done solely to protect the City’s investment in this public property.”
I asked about the details, and Rick Barnett of the parks department responded. “About every two or three years (depending on the population) the city has a trapper remove and euthanize nutria from the Periwinkle Creek area,” Barnett wrote me. “If we do not, they begin to do substantial damage to the banks and the walkway by undermining for their burrows. This past September, over the period of a few days, the trapper removed somewhere around 40. We do not plan on removing any more this winter.”
(A word about grammar: Everybody seems to refer to “nutria” even if there are more than one, but the dictionary says the plural has an “s” at the end.)
If nutrias are causing you grief on your Albany property, Troedsson has a warning: “It’s worth reminding Albany residents in all neighborhoods that they cannot use firearms to kill nutria in the city limits.” Instead, they must be trapped and otherwise destroyed. It’s apparently illegal to just trap them and release them somewhere.
And by the way, don’t call the city to deal with nutrias at your place. “Citizens on occasion call and want us to remove ‘the city’s’ nutria from their properties,” Barnett wrote. “Like other wildlife issues, we encourage the homeowner to handle the problem and point them towards exterminators to do the job.”