Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Ben Remaly
June 15 — Australian researchers say human-induced climate change has caused the first recorded extinction of a mammal after they failed to find the rodent on the minute Great Barrier Reef island it called home.
The rodent, known as the Bramble Cay melomys, was believed to be exclusive to Bramble Cay, an inlet about 10 acres in size that is part of the Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Researchers from the University of Queensland and Queensland's government said in a report that sea-level rise caused by climate change destroyed the habitat on the island and possibly drowned the melomys.
“A thorough survey effort involving 900 small animal 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,” said one of the report's authors, Luke Leung of the University of Queensland, June 14.
The scientists completed the survey from August to September 2014. The first reported discovery of the Bramble Cay melomys dates back to 1845, when European explorers spotted an abundance of “large rats” on the island that they shot with bow and arrow for recreation.
Decreasing estimates of the population were taken in 1978, 1998, 2002 and 2004 before a 2014 survey didn't spot a single melomy. A local fisherman who visited the island annually said he hadn't seen the rodent since 2009.
There may be hope for the Bramble Cay melomys. The report says there may be populations of the original melomys on the Fly River delta of Papua New Guinea, but the rodent had only been seen on Bramble Cay.
On June 12, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a $736 million fund to protect the Great Barrier Reef from warming waters and fertilizer run-off.
“With the coral bleaching disaster, and now the extinction of the Bramble Cay Melomys, the Great Barrier Reef has become the face of climate change,” World Wildlife Fund Australia spokesman Darren Grover said in a statement June 14.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Remaly in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)