The Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lived only on an island off Australia, is likely to be the world’s first mammal to be wiped-out by human caused climate change, according to a report published by researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia. Scientists believe that sea-level rise was the root cause of the extinction.
Global warming is endangering many new species of animals, whose populations were considered stable a few years ago. Experts agree that climate change is a major threat to species, some of which are already at risk from hunting and loss of habitat. However, climate change perhaps poses the greatest danger because it leaves species with no chance of escape.
According to researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia, the “key factor responsible for the extirpation of this population was almost certainly ocean inundation of the low-lying cay, very likely on multiple occasions, during the last decade, causing dramatic habitat loss and perhaps also direct mortality of individuals.”
According to the Union for Conservation of Nature, 733 species have become extinct in the last 50 years.