Bramble Cay Melomys Becomes First Mammal Made Extinct By Climate Change

International News, News

The Australian Bramble Cay Melomys rodent has become the first mammal to be made extinct by human-driven climate change. These rodents thrived on a small outcrop called Bramble Clay on the Great Barrier Reef. These rodents were first discovered on the atoll in 1845 and till the late 1990s, hundreds of them could be seen there. But their numbers started to fall drastically in the early 2000s as only 10 were counted in 2002 and 12 in 2004. During the research in 2011, no Bramble Cay Melomys was found for the first time. Researchers waited for years to be absolutely certain that the species had completely disappeared.

 The Bramble Cay Melomys Pictured In 2002 Photo Ian Bell/Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
The Bramble Cay Melomys Pictured In 2002 Photo Ian Bell/Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

The species was already listed as endangered and their extinction is almost certainly due to rising sea levels and high water tides. In fact due to rising water levels, the habitat of the island was its smallest ever in 2014. Thus the habitat of these rodents shrunk drastically on one hand and their natural refuge sites such as caves and crevices became submerged delivering a double blow. Researchers are hopeful that the creature might still be found in Papua New Guinea as they believe that the rodent arrived from there to Bramble Clay via vessels.

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Soumyajit DasMazumdar
Soumyajit is an SAP technical consultant with a flair for writing. An avid blog reader, he started off with a free WordPress blog and slowly moved to his own personal news and blog site. Apart from writing he loves reading books, playing table tennis and long bike trips. He is currently trying to learn playing guitar and failing miserably.

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