Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Human-Caused Climate Change Claims Its First Mammal

Human-Caused Climate Change Claims Its First Mammal

Australian rodent, (Photo: University of Queensland)

The Bramble Cay melomys, an Australian rodent found only on one tiny island along the Great Barrier Reef, has been declared extinct. And in anew report, scientists say it is the first mammal to be wiped out by human-caused climate change.
The key factor responsible for killing off the rodent was multiple occasions of flooding over the past decade that inundated the island, “causing dramatic habitat loss,” the report stated.
“Significantly, this probably represents the first recorded mammalian extinction due to anthropogenic climate change,” the researchers said in their report, quietly published on the Queensland government’s website last week.
In response to the report, the Queenslandgovernment website no longer recommends any recovery actions be taken. “Because the Bramble Cay melomys is now confirmed to have been lost from Bramble Cay, no recovery actions for this population can be implemented,” it reads.
On their secluded island, Bramble cay melomyscouldn’t cope with sea level rise, a known consequence of climate change. In a new study, it’s estimated that 30 percent of mammal species are likely not going to be able to migrate fast enough to keep up with the average rate of climate change, increasing the risk of extinction for multiple species.