Australian rodent becomes first known mammal extinction due to climate change

Australian Rodent Becomes First Known Mammal Extinction Due To Climate Change
Australian Rodent Becomes First Known Mammal Extinction Due To Climate Change

Scientists have long been warning that human-propelled climate change would result in animal extinctions.

Based on a recent study, that prediction has likely come to pass.

Researchers from the Queensland's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the University of Queensland recently announced the demise of the Bramble Cay melomys in its only known environment, the Great Barrier Reef.

Two searches for living members of the species were conducted in 2014, but neither turned up evidence of the animal's existence.



The last reported sighting of the creature, also known as a mosaic-tailed rat, was in 2009.

Scientists say the largest factor in the rodent's disappearance was sea level rise caused by humans, notes Newsweek.

The species' already small range was overcome with water, resulting in immediate deaths and, in the longer term, habitat loss.

The researchers note all hope may not be lost, as there could be a population of Bramble Cay melomys or their near relatives in Papua New Guinea, according to The Guardian.

Animals nearly lost to extinction: