Climate change havoc! Endangered Australian rodent slips to extinction

It is believed that Bramble Cay Melomys were last seen in 2009.

Climate change havoc! Endangered Australian rodent slips to extinction
The Bramble Cay melomys has become extinct, Australian scientists say. Photograph: Queensland government

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: It's now a painful reality that Bramble Cay Melomys, one of the most unusual Australian mammals have completely disappeared from its only known location.

According to The Guardian, this is the first recorded case of extinction of a mammal across the world primarily due to human-caused climate change.

The small rodent, also known as the mosaic-tailed rat, was the only mammal species endemic to the Great Barrier Reef. They got their name from the only known area of their occurrence- Bramble Cay a small coral cay, just 340m long and 150m wide off the north coast of Queensland, Australia.

A report led by Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection's (DEHP) Ian Gynther changed the status of the species from 'endangered' to extinct after extensive research that was carried out between August and September 2014.

The researchers claimed that the root cause of their extinction is the sudden rise in the sea-level that destroyed their habitat.

It was estimated that about 97% of melomys lost their habitat in 10 years due to decrease in the area of cay above high tide.

It is believed that Bramble Cay Melomys were last seen in 2009.

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