“The resurrection of this species brings good news in the face of the disproportionally high rate of native rodent extinction, making up 41 per cent of Australian mammal extinction since European colonisation in 1788,” lead author Emily Roycroft, an evolutionary biologist from the Australian National University (ANU), dijo en un comunicado.
“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,” ella añadió.
The team also studied seven other extinct native species, which were found to have high genetic diversity immediately before extinction, showing that their populations were widespread before Europeans arrived.
“This shows genetic diversity does not provide guaranteed insurance against extinction,” Roycroft warned.
Más que 80% of Australia’s mammals are endemic
, as result of Australia’s long period of isolation from other continents
. But the country has what researchers described in a
2015 paper as an
“extraordinary rate of extinction
.” mientras tanto, a study published in
2019 found that Australia was home to
6-10% of the world’s post-1500 recognized extinctions.
Roycroft said the extinction of the seven native species happened “very quickly.”
“They were likely common, with large populations prior to the arrival of Europeans. But the introduction of feral cats, foxes, and other invasive species, agricultural land clearing and new diseases have absolutely decimated native species,” ella dijo.
Humans have already wiped out hundreds of species and pushed many more to the brink of extinction through wildlife trade
, contaminación, habitat loss and the use of toxic substances
. The Earth’s sixth mass extinction is happening now
, much faster than previously expected
— and the rate at which species are dying out has accelerated in recent decades
, scientists have warned
The research will be published in the journal PNAS next month