First mammal species recognized as extinct due to climate changeKrakenSailing
Editor’s note: This story was originally published June 14, 2016. It was updated February, 20, 2019, when the Australian government officially recognized the species as extinct.
A small rodent that lived only on a single island off Australia is likely the world’s first mammal to become a casualty of climate change, scientists reported in June 2016. The government of Australia has now officially recognized the Bramble Cay melomys (Melomys rubicola) as extinct.
The animal seems to have disappeared from its home in the eastern Torres Strait of the Great Barrier Reef, scientists say. The animal was last seen by a fisherman in 2009, but failed attempts to trap any in late 2014 prompted scientists to say it is likely extinct.Also called the mosaic-tailed rat, the rodent is named after its home on Bramble Cay, a small island that is at most 10 feet above sea level.