Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the largest of rodents, weighing up to
66 kg, with a sturdy, barrel-shaped body and short, vestigial tail. Capybaras
are sometimes killed by farmers as pests, either because they may eat cereal or
fruit crops, or they are viewed as a competitor with domestic livestock. There is some evidence that they bite people
causing injury, potentially requiring hospitalisation.
capybara occurs over much of South America, to the east of the Andes, from
Colombia and Venezuela south to northern Argentina. They are found throughout
almost all countries of South America (except Chile). The Capybara inhabits a
variety of lowland habitats close to water, ranging from rivers and lakes in
rainforest, to marshes, brackish wetlands, swamps, and seasonally flooded
grassland and savannah. The Capybara is most numerous on the seasonally flooded
grasslands of the Llanos in Venezuela and Colombia, and the Pantanal of Brazil.
TAP assessed the Capybara as being moderately dangerous to humans, having a low
risk of establishment and high consequence if it established in Tasmania.
Consequently, the TAP assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing Capybaras into Tasmania is serious.
The Capybara is available for import only for those Wildlife Exhibition Licence
holders approved for the keeping of serious risk species.
Capybara Species Profile (411Kb)
Capybara risk assessment (181Kb)