Bramble Cay melomys: First mammal extinct due to climate change, Australia says

A mammal species is extinct due to human-induced climate change

(CNN) - Australia says climate change is to blame for a mammal recently becoming extinct.

The Bramble Cay melomys, a small brown rat that lived on a tiny coral island on the Great Barrier Reef, has died out.

At one point, it's believed hundreds of these rodents lived on the island in the 1970s.

But in 2016, the University of Queensland declared it extinct, saying it had not been seen for nearly 10 years.

Those findings were confirmed Monday by the Australian government which blamed the animal's demise on rising sea levels, leading to dramatic habitat loss.

Critics call this a sign that Australia and the world need to do more to combat climate change.

Copyright 2019 CNN. All rights reserved.