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LE RAGODIN


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We have a problem with ragodin eating the reeds, rushes and water lilies we have planted in our small lake.  Also there are a few holes that have been dug in the banks.  Has anyone got any ideas on catching/trapping them.  We have used a conventional trap without any success, but that may be because we are not using the correct bait (we currently cut up apples and carrots) so would like to know what we should fill the trap with.  If all else fails, we may have to resort to using a rifle.  Any idea if a .22 would fit the bill.  All help would be much appreciated.  We are almost at our wits end.  
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Try calling these people at L'Ile d'Oleron 

Le Marais aux Oiseaux  Tel: 05 46 75 37 54

We were on holiday there last week and visited the place where they take in wounded birds and there's also a section for ragondins.  Just down the road from them is a place called Parc Myocastors and they also look after these creatures.  Tel: 05 46 75 60 46.

 

I understand they are a nuisance for you but maybe these people can take care of your problem without you having to get your rifle out[:)]

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The large open ended live traps are best. But it's not so easy to catch Coypu in the summer months, as fresh green growth is abundant. Carrots and apples are fine in winter, but this time of year, don't bother with bait. Try and place the trap in undergrowth on a known Coypu trail. Check the trap at least daily and be patient. Do not plant your flora in plastic containers, but directly into the ground and cover them with stones/gravel. Coypu love digging up the roots. A final thought, if you are going to use a live trap, you have to decide in advance how you will get rid of them, it is illegal to release them elsewhere.
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I think there's a section of the local chasse who are prepared to do this. Ask at the Mairie who is in charge of the chasse in you area and ask that person. There's a long thread about this a year or two ago - you might find it with a search.
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Our Mairie used to pay a local hunter to shoot them and he was very effective. I have seen him take out several regondin with his rifle in a very short time on an étang. But the commune refused to continue paying for his cartridges so he stopped. My neighbours now use a huge cage trap baited with carrots and cabbage I think (which is less effective at this time of year). When the animal is caught it is drowned in the cage.

They are not protected in any way as far as they or I know.

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Point taken Chris - should we therefore suffer the sight of a terrified creature sat in a cage, exhausted, mouth bloodied, from numerous futile escape attemps, because the Ragondin man doesn't call every day? Or the sight of a wounded animal from a failed shooting incident?
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Are you killing them or taking them to a refuge?  If the latter, then I doubt they will have  much future because they breed like crazy, they are seen as pests as they will cost to keep. So will be disposed off anyway.

If the former, how? It is the problem of foxes all over again. Poison, shoot, drown. Dogs? No.

By the way, they can be very aggressive of cornered, even by accident. Friends with a dog were attacked by them. Whether there were kits I dont know, but they were not near water.

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I believe my previous post answers all your questions and I suppose the most humane way to dispose of them would be to shoot them in a cage. I agree, any wild creature is potentially dangerous when cornered. It is so very sad, but they can and do cause considerable damage, not only to banks and flora, but also to other wildlife. I believe, contrary to popular opinion, that in winter when fresh greenery is in short supply, they become carnivorous. This spring, they indiscriminately killed many frogs and toads attempting to spawn in our lake. Not only were there corpses everywhere with single bite marks, but also mounds of partly eaten corpses in Coypu hideaways in the lakeside undergrowth. For weeks I wondered if American Mink were the offenders. But I never caught any in live traps baited with just meat. By contrast, I always managed to catch Coypu in meat only baited traps. Incidentaly, they always ate the meat.
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I am not sure thare are mink in this part of France. But there are certainly mink like creatures which I am not very good at identifying. Whether these have some share in the carnage I dunno. You are probably right about fresh meat.

The process in this commune was that the hunter would shoot out most if not all of a family whilst they were on the lake. I never saw one move after he had hit it. Their bodies were not recovered. He was a true professional I must say; I never saw him shoot them in a cage. When his services were withdrawn my neighbour trapped them and simply slung the cage in the water for ten minutes or so.

Your previous answer did unfortunately not preclude the possibility of taking the things to a refuge which is why I was uneasy.

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Fair comment - Like you, I was only trying to give the original poster the benefit of my experience on what is a sad and frustrating subject. They are a subtropical species and not at all tolerant of cold climates. They shouldn't be here, competing with indigenous species for already sparse resourses, etc. etc.
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A member of my family has a stream running alongside their lake .....there is a bank sepperates lake from stream .....if these creatures were permitted to undermine the bank and it collapsed ...7 properties down stream will have a lake arrive at their front doors .....Now if you are against killing these lovely furry animals and you lived down stream .... you will say "never mind its what the pretty little things  do "  wont you  ?   or will  you scream for compensation from the land owner for not maintaining the bank ....?  you cant have it all ways ...these animals as Michael posted were introduced for their fur  and are a result of escape  like the mink.....they HAVE  to be dealt with or they will cause lots of damage ...

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We would like to thank everyone for replying to our original posting.  A lot of useful information has come out of it. 

When we first saw the ragodin at our lake (and not knowing what they were) we said 'oh, how nice - what super little creatures'.  It wasn't until they had completely stripped the vegetation that our views changed.  Anyone who has experienced damage caused by the ragodin will understand, and Frederick hit the nail on the head.  Also Michael's comments were spot on. 

Anyway, we seem to have had some luck with the trap.  We changed the bait to fresh 'MIXED LETTUCE LEAVES'.  You can buy this in packets at any supermarket for less than one euro.  We put half a packet of the lettuce in the trap each night for the last 7 nights and we have caught 7 ragodin.  We gave them to the local farmer to deal with and we understand they've been humanely killed. 

Thanks once again, one and all.

 

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Garden hunter, I am glad you have managed to get rid of so many. I hope that is all.

Yet one issue has been ducked if I may say so. The early part of the thread was concerned with humane disposal and I got the feeling that I was seen as something of a troublemaker because I stated what actually happens.  However, the animals, presumably in cages, have now been handed over to a local farmer and on his word that they have been disposed of humanely. Not defining what this means or even being there when it is done is something of a retreat from high standards is it not? Or is there information not on the thread?

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