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Photo: William Widmer/Redux
March 11, 2022

In the Torres Strait, between Australia and Papua New Guinea, lies Bramble Cay—a small, low-lying sandy island once home to a chubby-cheeked, brown rat found nowhere else in the world called the Bramble Cay melomys. In recent decades rising sea levels and increasingly intense storms assaulted the cay. Between 1998 and 2014, seawater inundated the island multiple times reducing vegetation cover by 97 percent. 

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