By Paul Homewood
It was described in 2016 as the first mammalian extinction caused by human-induced climate change.
Now the eradication of the Bramble Cay melomys has been officially recognised by Australia, its only known home.
The rodent lived solely on a tiny sand island in the Torres Strait, near the coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The species has not been seen since 2009.
The Australian government’s decision to list the species as extinct comes after the Queensland state government made an identical determination in 2016.
A state government report said it was almost certainly caused by “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”.
In fact, the demise of the little rat is far from as straightforward as the BBC would like you to believe.
The Conversation published…
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