Scientists in Australia report that the white lemuroid possum native to Queensland has gone extinct. Previously only found above 1000 metres in mountain forests the apparent extinction of the mammal has been put down to climate change. “If they have died out it would be first example of something that has gone extinct purely because of global warming ” says Steve Williams of the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at James Cook University. Highly vulnerable to temperature increases above 30 °C the white possum Hemibelideus lemuroids might have been killed off by record high temperatures in 2005. None have been seen in spotting expeditions mounted over the last three years. A last-ditch search is planned for 2009. Many species are thought to be endangered by rising global temperatures from corals and rainforest species to the poles. If the white possum is confirmed as extinct researchers say it will be as significant as the extinction of the Dodo and the Tasmanian tiger.