The Bramble Cay melomys—a rodent found only on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—has been declared extinct, according to a new study from researchers at the Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the University of Queensland.
Alarmingly, this could be the first mammal species wiped out due to human-induced climate change. The Bramble Cay melomys have vanished from its 350m-long cay home in the Torres Strait due to sea-level rise and weather events.
The researchers came to the conclusion after failing to find a single specimen of the melomys, also called the mosaic-tailed rat, from its only known habitat.“A thorough survey effort involving 900 small mammal trap-nights, 60 camera trap-nights and two hours of active daytime searches produced no records of the species, confirming that the only known population of this rodent is now extinct,” the study states.
Photo credit: Queensland Government
The roar that mostly goes unheard.
I hope this is a simulation we are living in because if this is all that lies ahead … that’s just about too soul crushing to consider.