In 2016, scientists theorized that a small rat living in an Australian island would probably be the first-ever mammal to end up as a victim of climate change. The country’s government already declared the Bramble Cay melomys, otherwise known as the Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat as an extinct creature.
Scientists added that this type of rodent left its home somewhere in the Great Barrier Reef and was reportedly last seen ten years ago today, and efforts to trap it consequently failed, which prompted researchers to declare its extinction.
Bramble Cay melomys were first spotted by Europeans circa 1845. However, beginning 1998, a portion of their home island shrunk up to 39660 square meters – meaning, the island’s greenery started tumbling down as well and that the rats were losing a massive percentage of their home.
For a relatively low-lying island like Bramble Cay, the destructive effects of the extreme water levels resulting from severe meteorological events were compounded by the impacts from anthropogenic climate change-driven rise in sea level. Globally speaking, sea level already rose by 20.32 centimeters since 1901. Such a rate is considered unmatched throughout the last six thousand years. Within Torres Strait, on the other hand, sea level ascended almost two times the documented world average from 1993-2014. Scientists also pointed out that these rodents may become the first species to encounter risk caused by the warming climate. A recent study suggested that climate change can be risky to one in a total of five species, specifically the one’s whos habitat is on mountains and small islands because they have fewer options to relocate to when such mishaps occur.
Surprisingly, some species will benefit from climate change, but most will see reduced ranges. The good news is that people can still make efforts to lessen the awful impacts by the relocation of wildlife animals, creating safe places that can provide animals a new home, and by diminishing greenhouse gas emissions.