New Delhi: The ever-persistent phenomenon of climate change and global warming reveals its existence in the most drastic approach.
Its effects are terribly overwhelming, not only for us, but also for the planet's flora and fauna. Since nature and its beings are all interdependent on each other, impact on any one species influences the rest as well.
Having said this, let's not forget that climate change and global warming are the results of human actions, with levels of carbon and greenhouse gases skyrocketing.
Besides the effects on the oceans of the world and the melting of glacial ice sheets, the impact on animals has begun to show as well.
As per reports, the Bramble Cay melomys, a mammal native to the Great Barrier Reef, is nowhere to be found anymore. The mammal seems to have been wiped out from its only known location courtesy climate change.
This extinction is also the first recorded extinction of a mammal in the world that is believed to be a consequence of human-caused climate change.
Also known as the mosaic-tailed rat, the rodent was only known to live on Bramble Cay a small coral cay, just 340m long and 150m wide off the north coast of Queensland, Australia, which sits at most 3m above sea level.
Considered the only mammal species endemic to the Great Barrier Reef, the rat's existence was first recorded by Eauropeans in 1845 and its large population was confirmed in 1978.
The rats were last spotted in 2009, after which they were labeled “endangered”. However, after a thorough search carried out in 2014, a report has recommended that its status be changed from “endangered” to “extinct”.
The report authored by researchers from Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in partnership with the University of Queensland, also mentioned that the primary cause for the rodent's extinction was the rise in sea levels.
Even though declared extinct, one hope for the mammal's existence still remains. As per The Guardian, the authors believe that there might be an undiscovered population in Papua New Guinea. They say the melomys might have arrived on Brambles Cay on rafting debris from the Fly River region of Papua New Guinea. If that is true, then either the Brambles Cay melomys, or a close relative, may still live undiscovered there.
The authors also recommend targeted surveys in Papua New Guinea be carried out, to see if they are there.