Damage to dykes and levees in the Netherlands is extensive and increases with muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) density
The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is an invasive species in the Netherlands. Its burrowing habits are alleged to threaten the integrity of the extensive water control infrastructure, posing a public safety hazard in this densely populated, low-lying country. A national control program currently traps and kills tens of thousands of muskrats each year. The costs (annually about € 35M) as well as concerns raised by animal welfare groups have raised questions about whether the control program could be improved, and even whether it is necessary at all.