The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which the Museum stands. Availble: Queensland Government, “Bramble Cay melomys.” [Online]. With a population of less than 100 individuals inhabiting a single small sand cay whose existence is threatened by erosion, the Bramble Cay melomys is one of the most threatened mammals in Australia. [3], The Bramble Cay melomys was a species of mosaic tailed rat, distinguishable from other species of rat by the mosaic pattern of scales on its tail. The Bramble Cay melomys, or Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat (Melomys rubicola), is an extinct species of rodent in the family Muridae.While it was similar to the Cape York melomys it had some protein differences and a coarser tail. Bramble cay melomys photographed in 2001. Consequently, at this stage, it may be premature to declare the Bramble Cay melomys extinct on a global scale.” [3] Anthropogenic climate change is causing a rise in the global mean temperature, rising sea level, and the frequency and intensity of weather events. The Australian Museum Mammalogy Collection holds ten specimens collected from 1922-1924 when they were still moderately common. THe melomys is larger than the three other Australian species in the genus, with its body measuring 15-16.5cm long and tail 14.5-18.5cm long. Known only from Bramble Cay, in the Torres Strait, the melomys has long been considered one of the most threatened mammals in Australia. Scientists say this is a cause for alarm as the world witnesses the first modern mammal driven to extinction by climate change. Now, however, we have a new candidate – the Bramble Cay melomys, and this one really has the AGW people stirred up (a Google search for “Bramble Cay melomys extinct” generated 176,000 hits). The sand cay is covered in low herbaceous vegetation which grows up to 40 cm high. The Bramble Cay Melomy s, or "mosaic-tailed rat," was last seen in 2009 and is most likely extinct. It has reddish brown fur with a paler underbelly. These are all the more precious now the animal is extinct. The Bramble Cay melomys was considered one … The cay experiences constant changes in shape, size, and orientation due to the constant erosion and deposition of material by waves, tides, and wind. In this section, explore all the different ways you can be a part of the Museum's groundbreaking research, as well as come face-to-face with our dedicated staff. The cay is in the eastern part of Torres Strait, off the northern tip of Australia. The Bramble Cay melomys is survived by the grassland melomys and two other closely-related melomys species. Also known as the mosaic-tailed rat, the melomys’ only known habitat was Bramble Cay, a tiny four-hectare island surrounded by an oval reef, situated at the entrance of the northeast Torres Strait – the passage between northern Australia’s Cape York Peninsula and the island of New Guinea. It is 55 kilometres (34 mi) southeast of the mouth of the Fly River of Papua New Guinea. This attractively marked native rodent is a little smaller than the introduced Black Rat. According to the report, the rodent species Bramble Cay melomys, also known as the mosaic tailed rat, no longer exists, and the culprit is environmental conditions brought on by human-induced rising global temperatures. Fig. Bick Law is a top-tier environmental law firm committed to providing world-class environmental litigation, compliance, and transactional services to businesses, tailored by industry and personalized to … Come and explore what our researchers, curators and education programs have to offer! The Bramble Cay melomys lived near Papua New Guinea. In a 2016 report, scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia noted that the consistent rise in … It was first recorded by sailors in 1845, and the last was seen on Bramble Cay in 2009. The tiny rodents thrived in just a single habitat that is a small reef island at the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Ultimately, evidence indicates that the root cause of the the extinction of the species from Bramble Cay was human-induced climate change. It was an endemic species of the isolated Bramble Cay, a vegetated coral cay located at the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. [4] The resulting storms and high water levels caused repeated ocean inundation of the cay. You have reached the end of the page. Receive the latest news on events, exhibitions, science research and special offers. Bramble Cay melomys were first sighted in the 1800s and estimates from the 1970s suggested that the rodent population numbered in the ... the Bramble Cay melomys may still exist in one location… [3] In 2011, 2012, and 2014, surveys were conducted on Bramble Cay and failed to record any Bramble Cay melomys. The melomys lived on Bramble Cay, an island in Australian waters 227km north-east of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and 50km from the Papua New Guinean coast. Because of its isolation and low population, little is known about its behaviour. The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which the Museum stands. Several hundred populated the area as recently as 1978. Bramble Cay melomys extinct? In this section, there's a wealth of information about our collections of scientific specimens and cultural objects. Eleven plant species have been recorded however composition varies from year to year. From the discovery of sucking lice species to the creation of a chemical ‘e-nose’ to detect illegal wildlife trade, the AM’s collections contain limitless potential. A Dropbox file of images is available to media here.. University of Queensland and Queensland Government researchers have confirmed that the Bramble Cay melomys – the only mammal species endemic to the Great Barrier Reef - is the first mammal to go … [5], Sarjana Amin, Brodie Yyelland, Jason DonevLast updated: June 4, 2018Get Citation. Current conservation status of the Bramble Cay melomys The official conservation status of the Bramble Cay melomys is … This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. It is only 50 km from New Guinea. Bramble Cay is also the largest nesting site of green turtles in the Torres Strait and supports the only large seabird colony in the region. Like all melomys the scales on its prehensile tail form mosaic pattern rather than the concentric scale pattern found in many other rodents hence the common name of mosaic-tailed rat. This summer, the Bramble Cay melomys, a reddish-brown rodent that resembles a large mouse, made international news. melomys population on Bramble Cay, which would imply that the Bramble Cay melomys or a closely related species may occur in the Fly River region, an area that has received relatively little mammal fauna survey effort to date. A changing climate has already taken a toll on many animals, who have found it hard to adapt to the changes. Thank you for reading. Melomys rubicola was only ever recorded from Bramble Cay. The location of Bramble Cay and other Torres Strait islands mentioned in this report in relation to Papua New Guinea and Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. Bramble Cay (Maizab Kaur), an ~4 ha, low elevation sand cay located in Torres Strait, Australia, supports the only known population of the endangered Bramble Cay melomys Melomys rubicola Thomas, 1924. Join us, volunteer and be a part of our journey of discovery! WITH NO SIGHTINGS since 2009, experts have officially recommended that the Bramble Cay melomys (Melomys rubicola, also known as the mosaic-tailed rat) be declared extinct. This species was endemic to Bramble Cay, a small island in the Torres Strait and is regarded as the first mammal to become extinct due to climate change. Twenty-two other melomys species … [5] The pronouncement of the extinction of the species in Australia has been supported by fully comprehensive surveys conducted on Bramble Cay and other Torres Strait and Great Barrier Reef islands, which have failed to observe any of the rodents. This reduction in food and cover would have undoubtedly contributed to its extinction. This article examines the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys and attempts to understand what caused this great loss. With a population of less than 100 individuals inhabiting a single small sand cay whose existence is threatened by erosion, the Bramble Cay melomys is one of the most threatened mammals in Australia. Check out the What's On calendar of events, workshops and school holiday programs. The Bramble Cay melomys lived on a tiny island in Australia's far north It was described in 2016 as the first mammalian extinction caused by human-induced climate change. The Bramble Cay melomys (Melomys rubicola), once reportedly abundant on the island has disappeared. melomys population on Bramble Cay, which would imply that the Bramble Cay melomys or a closely related species may occur in the Fly River region, an area that has received relatively little mammal fauna survey effort to date. Bramble Cay is a small coral cay which is approximately 340 m long by 150 m wide, and has a maximum elevation of 3 m above sea level. Prickly Shark, Echinorhinus cookei Pietschmann, 1928. Click on the '?' The Australian Museum has been involved in raising awareness and researching impacts of climate change for over a decade. It was genetically different to species from Australia and New Guinea. Human-caused climate change appears to have driven the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species into the history books, with the Bramble Cay melomys… Image credit: gadigal yilimung (shield) made by Uncle Charles Chicka Madden. It was described in 2016 as the first mammalian extinction caused by human-induced climate change. Image caption The Bramble Cay melomys lived on a tiny island in Australia's far north . The Bramble Cay melomys are listed as extinct in Queensland and nationally listed as endangered. They lived in the eastern Torres Strait, which lies between Australia and the island of New Guinea. The Bramble Cay melomys are dead International naming and shaming showers down upon all Australians for the extinction of a small brown rat that used to live only on Bramble Cay, a tiny Torres Strait island near Papua New Guinea. for navigation instructions. The root cause of the extinction of these rodents was repeated ocean inundation of the cay, due to sea level rise from frequent extreme weather events. The Bramble Cay melomys, or Bramble Cay mosaic-tailed rat, is a recently extinct species of rodent in the family Muridae and subfamily Murinae. The ecologically unique Bramble Cay melomys (Melomys rubicola) was first documented by Europeans in 1845. “Bramble Cay melomys extinction from climate change is the tip of the iceberg,” says Janet Rice, the Greens party senator. View the Bramble Cay Melomys on Pedestal3D for full screen and access to additional functions. The rodents were dependent on the cay's vegetation for food and shelter, heavily relying on the succulent Portulaca oleracea and possibly turtle eggs for food. The Bramble Cay melomys were the only endemic mammal species of the Great Barrier Reef, and were the most isolated and restricted mammal in Australia. Several hundred Bramble Cay melomys were estimated to occupy the cay in 1978. — 1. [3] As the cay is only 3 m above sea level, seawater flooding killed or damaged vegetation[5] causing a 97% decline in vegetation observed between 2004 and 2014. Unpublished report to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland Government, Brisbane, 2016. The Bramble Cay melomys of Queensland, Australia is the world's first mammal thought to have gone extinct due to the impacts of anthropogenic climate change. The cay experiences constant changes in shape, size, and orientation due to the constant erosion and deposition of material by waves, tides, and wind. Melomys rubicola was only ever recorded from Bramble Cay. Australian Geographic, “Bramble Cay melomys.” [Online]. Wildlife Wednesdays: Bramble Cay Melomys. See some of our rare and unique natural science and cultural collection objects in 3D. Over 90% of the vegetation of the cay has been lost since 2004 due to sea water inundation.