2016-Bramble Cay melomys declared extinct thanks to climate change

June 14, 2022

Bramble Cay Melomys were also called Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rats. Their scientific name is Melomys rubicola. The rodent has recently come under the spotlight after going extinct. Scientists cite global warming as the primary cause of their dwindling numbers. If this is true, the Bramble Cay Melomys will be the first mammal to go extinct due to anthropogenic climate change.

Fun Facts

• Here is the scientific classification for the Bramble Cay Melomy

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Muridae

Genus: Melomys

Species: Melomys Rubicola

Binomial name: Melomys Rubicola

• The species is suspected of having gone extinct in 2009 but was only declared extinct in May 2015 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

• The Australian Government also declared the species extinct in February 2019.

• On June 14, 2016, the Queensland's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection declared the Melomys Rubicola extinct,

• Bramble Cay Melomys primarily inhabited 5 acres on Australia's Northern tip of the Greater Barrier Reef. They dig burrows into the ground for a place to live.

• An average Bramble Cay had a body length of 14.8 to 16.5cm and a tail ranging from 14.5 to 18.5cm. They usually weighed anywhere between 78and 164 grams.

• The Bramble Cay Melomy is usually presented with a reddish-brown fur coat on top and a grayish brown fur coat below.

• Melomys Rubicola was similar in appearance to its close relative, Cape York Melomys.

• Rising water levels and storm surges caused vegetation to dwindle. Coupled with competition for food with turtles and seabirds, the Bramble Cay Melomy probably went extinct from lack of food or reduced habitat resulting from rising sea levels.

• The Bramble Cay Melomy was a nocturnal animal.

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