WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill in the U.S. Senate would expand nutria eradication efforts in Maryland and Louisiana and begin similar programs in other coastal states.

The large, semi-aquatic rodent that can eat up to 25 percent of its body weight in plants per day has devastated wetlands in several states.

The legislation would authorize funding over five years for eradication efforts in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, Oregon, North Carolina, and Washington. The bill reintroduced by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin is co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Mary Landreiu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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