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Bramble Cay melomys is first mammal declared extinct from human-caused climate change

It is the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-induced climate change.

Jun 16, 2016 10:01 IST
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Bramble Cay melomysScientists in June 2016 declared Bramble Cay melomys found only on a tiny island on the Great Barrier Reef as extinct.

It is the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-induced climate change.

The news was revealed in the report of a survey led by Ian Gynther from Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in partnership with the University of Queensland.

Key points of the report

The root cause of the extinction was reported to be high tides and surging seawater, which has travelled inland across the island.

As a result of rising seas, the island was inundated on multiple occasions killing the animals. The rising seas also destroyed their habitat.

About Bramble Cay melomys

The Bramble Cay melomys are also known as Australian Great Barrier Reef rodent or Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat.

It was a species of rodent in the family Muridae.

It was similar to the Cape York melomys except that it had some protein differences and a coarser tail caused by elevated scales.

It was prominent in herdfields and strandline vegetation where it built burrows.

It was Australia's most isolated mammal.

The Bramble Cay melomys was first discovered by Europeans in April 1845.

The species was then apparently in high densities.

It was not until the first part of the following century that the species was formally described as Melomys rubicola based on a specimen collected by MacGillivray.

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