An elusive rat-sized mouse made headlines in June, by becoming the first animal to become extinct at the hands of human-induced climate change. Only about two hundred Bramble Cay Melomys (Melomys rubicola) were known to exist. First discovered in the 1970s, the species existed in only one known location; a small island in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
The animals were last spotted in 2009; there was no trace of them in subsequent searches, including an extended survey in 2014. Researchers have declared the species extinct due to global warming: rising seas have destroyed 97% of the herbaceous vegetation of the island over the past decade, which once provided food and shelter for the rodents.
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