Bramble Cay melomys

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Bramble Cay melomys

Extinct  (2016) (IUCN 3.1)[1][2]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Melomys
Species: M. rubicola
Binomial name
Melomys rubicola
Thomas, 1924

The Bramble Cay melomys, or Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat (Melomys rubicola), is an extinct species of rodent in the family Muridae and subfamily Murinae. It was similar to the Cape York melomys[3] except that it had some protein differences and a coarser tail caused by elevated scales. It was prominent in herd-fields and strandline vegetation where it built burrows.

Australia's most isolated mammal, the Bramble Cay melomys was known only from a small population in Bramble Cay, a vegetated coral cay of 340 by 150 metres (1,120 ft × 490 ft).[4] It has not been seen since 2007, despite a search by a team of scientists; it was feared to be extinct.[5]

In June 2016, researchers from Queensland's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the University of Queensland jointly reported that the species had indeed become extinct, adding: "Significantly, this probably represents the first recorded mammalian extinction due to anthropogenic climate change".[2][1] However, writing in Australian Geographic, Lauren Smith noted, "The authors of the report do note that there is a slight chance that there's an as-yet-unknown population of the species in Papua New Guinea around the Fly River delta area, and that until that area is adequately surveyed, the Bramble Cay melomys should have the tag 'Possibly Extinct' added to the IUCN Red listing."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gynther, Ian; Waller, Natalie; Leung, Luke K.-P. (June 2016), Confirmation of the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys Melomys rubicola on Bramble Cay, Torres Strait: results and conclusions from a comprehensive survey in August–September 2014 (PDF), Unpublished report to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland Government, Brisbane., retrieved 14 June 2016 
  2. ^ a b Slezak, Michael (14 June 2016). "Revealed: first mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Musser, G.G.; Carleton, M.D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 894–1531. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  4. ^ "Queensland Government, Environment and Resource management". 2 September 2005. Archived from the original on 2009-04-27. 
  5. ^ Kim, Milena; Pressey, Bob (14 January 2015). "Another Australian animal slips away to extinction". The Conversation. Retrieved 2015-01-14. 
  6. ^ Smith, Lauren (15 June 2016). "Extinct: Bramble Cay melomys". Australian Geographic. Retrieved 15 June 2016.