JUN 21, 2016 05:23 AM PDT

Climate Change Claims a Species


A rodent found only on a tiny island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has been declared extinct. Zoology experts and environmentalists say it's the first mammal known to be wiped out by human-caused climate change.
The Bramble Cay melomys, which resembles a small brown mouse, lived on Bramble Cay, a tiny coral atoll that juts out three metres or less above the water between Queensland in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Experts used animal traps, cameras and searches but did not find a single one. The cause of the extinction is likely flooding of the melomys' habitat Ian Gynther from Queensland's Department of Environment of Heritage Protection and Natalie Waller and Luke Leung at the University of Queensland published a report documenting a decade of flooding of the island, wiping out their habitat as well as probably drowning some of the rodents directly.
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