Australia officially declared Great Barrier Reef rodent extinct on Tuesday. The rat is believed to be the first mammal killed due to human activities leading to climate change. The rat-like Bramble Cay melomys has not been spotted in its habitat, which is a sandy island in far northern Australia since a decade. On Tuesday, Australia's environment ministry said that it transferred the animal to the "extinct" list.
According to researchers from Queensland University, one of the main reasons for their disappearance is the repeated ocean inundation of the cay in the past decade. There has been a tremendous loss in their habitat, one of the primary reasons for their extinction. A study released in 2016 on sea-level rise and weather events in the Torres Strait region "point to human-induced climate change being the root cause of the loss of the Bramble Cay melomys." Left on the coy, a five-hectare island less than three metres high it was vulnerable to climate change. Sudan, World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Dead: 7 Animals That Went Extinct in Last Two Decades Courtesy Us!
Melomys rubicola was first discovered by Europeans on the cay in 1845 who shot "big rats" for fun. It is considered the Great Barrier Reef's only endemic mammal species. The listing of the rodent as extinct comes three years after the Queensland government come up with a similar conclusion stating that it "probably represents the first recorded mammalian extinction due to anthropogenic climate change". The ‘Rio’ Bird Blue Macaw Parrot, Among 8 Other Species, is Now Officially Extinct, Study Confirms.
In 2008, a recovery plan to save them began but it said that it was unlikely their population would go down. The five-year scheme stated said, "The likely consequences of climate change, including sea-level rise and increase in the frequency and intensity of tropical storms, are unlikely to have any major impact on the survival of the Bramble Cay melomys in the life of this plan."
Leeanne Enoch, Queensland's Environment Minister, said the animal's extinction showed "we are living the real effects of climate change right now". She said, "We have consistently called on PM Scott Morrison and Melissa Price to show leadership on climate change, instead of burying their heads in the sand. How many more species do we have to lose for the federal government to take action?" Madagascar Pochard, World's Rarest Bird Thought to Extinct for a Decade Comes Back to Natural Habitat With the Help of Rescue Teams.
The Age quoted Greens Senator Janet Rice, chair of the Senate inquiry into Australia's animal extinction crisis as saying, "Business, as usual, is the death warrant for our threatened animals. The extinction of the Bramble Cay Melomys should be a national tragedy, and the Morrison government’s failure to protect Australia’s nearly 500 animals threatened with extinction is an absolute disgrace. The environment department says it’s learnt from this extinction and takes extinction seriously, but if it was serious it should be conducting an immediate review of how this happened."