It seems that human excess has taken its toll on a little Australian rodent that is most likely extinct. According to a team of researchers from the Australia’s University of Queensland, a species of rodent, known as the Bramble Cay melomys was no longer found on Bramble Cay Island.
The island is situated in the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists established that the rodent was extinct because of the rising sea levels and extreme weather events.
Furthermore, it is the first mammal declared extinct due to anthropogenic climate change. Regardless of their efforts, the Australian rodent was no longer detected on the island.
According to Luke Leung, co-author of the research, his team set 60 camera trap-nights, 900 small animal trap-nights and spent two hours during the day trying to find the rodent, but with no results.
There is still a slight chance that the little mammal also exists on islands in the Torres Strait, an area between Papua New Guinea and Australia consisting of over 200 islands.
According to Jamie Carr, coordinator of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Global Species Programme’s Climate Change Unit, the IUCN cannot declare the Australian rodent extinct yet until the researchers thoroughly check the Torres Strait area.
The only statement that experts can make for the moment is that the small mammal is most likely extinct. Worse, other extinctions occurred over the last few years due to many other factors besides climate change, such as habitat loss for instance.
According to Stuart Pimm, a professor of Conservation Ecology at the Duke University and endangered species expert, this situation is highly alarming. In addition to this, many other species are on the verge of extinction due to a large variety of factors, most of them involving human actions.
Climate change occurs and extends because we pollute the atmosphere with carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, the water ecosystem and our forests also suffer the consequences of this destructive process.
Pimm also added that driving a species to extinction means destroying something that will never exist again. Even if it is the situation of a little mammal, the entire balance of the ecosystem is harmed day by day. Hopefully, no other species will have to be declared extinct in the future, as in the case of the Australian rodent.
Image Source:Planet Mammiferes