A new study recently showed extinct "shark bay" mouse is still found on some small islands off the coast of West Australia.
A SciTechDaily report specified that this Australian mammal, specifically the extinct Gould's mouse indistinguishable from the Shark Bay mouse, thought to have been wiped out more than 150 years back, can now be crossed off the list of extinct animals, following new research.
The study authors compared DNA samples from eight extinct Australian rodents and more than 40 of their existing relatives to look into the decrease of native species since the Europeans' arrival in Australia.
The Australian National University's lead author, Dr. Emily Roycoft, said the outcome is both thrilling and sobering.
"The resurrection of this species brings good news in the face of the disproportionally high rate of native rodent extinction, making up 41 percent of Australian mammal extinction since European colonization in 1788," Dr. Roycroft said.
"It is exciting that Gould's mouse is still around, but its disappearance from the mainland highlights how quickly this species went from being distributed across most of Australia, to only surviving on offshore islands in Western Australia. It's a huge population collapse."
Other than the Gould's mouse, a similar EurekAlert! the report specified, the researchers also investigated seven other extinct native species. All had comparatively high generic diversity instantly prior to extinction, suggesting they had large, extensive populaces before the Europeans arrived.
Dr. Raycoft explained, their result shows that diversity is not providing guaranteed insurance from extinction. Such extinction of these species, she added, occurred quite fast.
The species were likely common, with huge populations before the arrival of Europeans. However, the lead author continued, the introduction of foxes, feral cats, as well as other invasive species, agricultural land clearing, and new illnesses, have ultimately devastated native species.
There are still many biodiversities, elaborated Raycroft, to lose here, in this country, and not so much has been done to protect it.
Susceptibility to Effect of Human Activities
As indicated in the study, "Museum genomics reveals the rapid decline and extinction of Australian rodents since European settlement," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, while it is clear that native rodents are the specifically vulnerable effect of human activities in Australia over the last two-and-a-half centuries, it is less evident if the rodent extinctions since the arrival of the Europeans were entirely the outcome of anthropogenic impacts since the late 1700s or if a reduced adaptive capacity through preexisting genetic erosion fast-tracked this process in the species which no longer exist.
Historical reports have suggested that at least two of the wiped out rodents, the white-footed rodent or Conilurus albipes described in the CT Pest site, and lesser stick-nest rodents or Leporillus apicalis were common until the early 19th Century.
Aside from these anecdotal accounts and implications from what is termed in the study as "sparse Holocene subfossil records," not much is known about the great quantity, not to mention historical deliveries of extinct Australian rats.
The historical account is inadequate to directly investigate the rate and nearby causes of declines, researchers wrote in their study.
Related information is shown on Australian Wildlife Conservancy's YouTube video below:
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