An exclusive country club is taken over by giant gnawers

Capybaras have sparked an intense debate over how urbanizations affect the wetlands and right to a sustainable environment and ecology

In the Tigre area, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the capybara population is expanding. Without natural predators, they began to multiply, which led to unhappy encounters with some pets and residents, unaccustomed to having these giant rodents as neighbors.

While Congress has yet to pass the wetlands protection law, which would provide a better regulatory framework for conservation, capybaras are trying to recover part of their lost land.

Indeed, according to Argentine constitution, the authorities must protect the right to a healthy environment, to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage and biological diversity, and to environmental information and education. What type of development do we want is part of the debate that capybaras have sparked?

The situation of the capybaras in Nordelta

Nordelta is the name of one of the most expensive and exclusive country club in the outskirts of the urban area. With many luxury mansions, it also houses convenience stores and other facilities.

Several media report that there are injured pets in Nordelta, traffic accidents and parks with destruction, because capybaras gnaw what they find in their path. Or rather, they gnaw on what man installed in the middle of the wetland, their natural habitat that is now an urbanized area.

They have already registered about 400 of these rodents but it is believed that there will be 400,000 in two years.

In one of these episodes, a neighbor from Nordelta saw how a capybara harmed her dog, a mini schnauzer, and observed how the attacking animal had it in her mouth. The residents of the exclusive country club fear that their children will be attacked. A motorcyclist was crossed by one of these amphibian animals, which caused him to suffer injuries.

Finally and after the contrary public opinion, the residents of the private neighborhood asked for the transfer of «those specimens to which the Nordelta ecosystem can no longer feed and sustain other natural reserves.»

The Nordelta incident is just the tip of the iceberg on the uses of space. What happens, for example, with airports that displaced a lot of native flora and fauna of the riverside coast?

The news story has been debated all over social media, with the majority of the parties supporting the capybaras. Even the Japanese Embassy in Argentina has tweeted on the matter:

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