Though other news of the day may dominate worldwide headlines, a quiet February 19th story from Australia may bear the most ominous message for humanity's future: manmade climate changed has caused its first mammal extinction.
Twitter user @Tim_Beshara brought the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys to the public eye with a thread detailing the years of negligence that lead to their deaths.
Buried in this media release from Melissa Price is Australia's official acknowledgement of the extinction of anothe… https://t.co/9RoztcR88r— Tim Beshara (@Tim Beshara) 1550531268.0
The Bramble Cay melonys were small mouse-like rodents with long snouts and knobby tails who lived on the northern coast of Australia, where sea-levels have been changing due to anthropogenic (man-made) climate change.
Extinction of the Bramble Cay Melomys highlights Australia’s species crisis https://t.co/F7RDW3cuaE #ausvotes https://t.co/DEh21hzM0F— WWF_Australia (@WWF_Australia) 1465891113.0
Government officials attempted to downplay the official announcement of the species' demise, but Beshara made it very clear that the melomy's extinction was entirely preventable and ultimately caused by climate change.
Here's the key part of the scientific report about the end of the Bramble Cay melomys and why scientists say it's o… https://t.co/zaxuJ1X8xE— Tim Beshara (@Tim Beshara) 1550539214.0
Back in 2008, the government vastly underestimated the impact climate change would have on local species.
Here is what the Recovery Plan said about climate change risk in 2008. https://t.co/GA8sdAqggY— Tim Beshara (@Tim Beshara) 1550531691.0
Due to their poor planning, the entirety of the species was washed out to sea by a huge storm surge and no captive breeding program was in place to save their genetic line.
The plan was woefully insufficient and thus when a storm surge washed the entire population of the species into the… https://t.co/pD9hX7MNBh— Tim Beshara (@Tim Beshara) 1550531582.0
@Tim_Beshara @DashForester Oh. It is even more depressing https://t.co/7juNmWocTW— Fiona (@Fiona) 1550594006.0
Now, environmentalists on Twitter are supporting each other and trying to hold government officials accountable for their lack of action.
(New from me): 'Our little brown rat': first #climate change-caused mammal extinction confirmed by Australian gove… https://t.co/5rkkxg1yL9— Peter Hannam (@Peter Hannam) 1550573237.0
Thank you @p_hannam for seeking comments from Ministers and experts on the passing of the Bramble Cay melomys. It’s so important.— Tim Beshara (@Tim Beshara) 1550570285.0
@Tim_Beshara Thanks @Tim_Beshara for your work to highlight the loss but also the shameful history of our neglect...— Peter Hannam (@Peter Hannam) 1550574117.0
“It should be mandatory whenever there is an extinction that there be the equivalent of coronial inquest to figure… https://t.co/AHCGgO4Mcd— Tim Beshara (@Tim Beshara) 1550570137.0
Social media users are pressing themselves and their governments to try and ensure nothing like this happens again if we can help it.
@Tim_Beshara @p_hannam Yes, the loss of any species on our watch is noteworthy,& those most responsible need to kno… https://t.co/hbBd9Q68tn— Mike (@Mike) 1550572515.0
This devastating extinction is the legacy of decades of indifference to the suffering and plight of animals. We hav… https://t.co/r5xqTvBvTG— Nature NSW (@Nature NSW) 1550575619.0
The death of the melomys could also indicate a dangerous future for all mammals if climate change continues.
Few people have heard of the Bramble Cay melomys, but its name could go down in history https://t.co/THvaeJYfLy— New Scientist (@New Scientist) 1466190070.0
Sea-level data hints at why the Bramble Cay melomys may no longer live on Bramble Cay. More: https://t.co/1YeZFaefER https://t.co/zGLa4w9rgz— NOAA Satellites (@NOAA Satellites) 1466019278.0
Bramble Cay melomys is likely the 1st mammal claimed by man-made climate change, report says https://t.co/LvPWVd7Pz8 https://t.co/3m1bd9sLew— Mike Wereschagin (@Mike Wereschagin) 1466177846.0
All life on earth is in danger, and people are seriously scared.
@Tim_Beshara This tweet sent chills down my spine. We are witnessing the decimation of so many species and yet seem… https://t.co/QASXmuyMVY— Monique Mayze (@Monique Mayze) 1550541254.0
@Tim_Beshara Remember, we are also on that “facing #extinction” list, too.— luminaria98 (@luminaria98) 1550590004.0
@Tim_Beshara B-but it was cold this morning.— One of those (@One of those) 1550600728.0
If humankind doesn't take drastic, immediate action to minimize the impact of climate change, more extinctions are soon to come.
@Tim_Beshara Well done, another great achievement by mankind 😪— Little Bird (@Little Bird) 1550599089.0