Diamond Collapse Twilight at Easter Island

Diamond, Collapse: Twilight at Easter Island
In Diamond’s, “Collapse: Twilight at Easter Island,” he says that Easter Island was vivacious paradise, until it was populated by humans. Easter Island started out as a vivacious island paradise with subtropical forest of, 21 species, tall trees (one of which was the world’s largest palm tree with trunks reaching diameters exceeding seven feet) and woody bushes. More impressive was Easter's extraordinary total of at least 25 nesting seabird species, making it formerly the richest breeding site in all of Polynesia and probably in the whole Pacific. The best resulting estimates of max population range from a low of 15,000 to a high of 30,000 people. Jared Diamond’s best guess was a population of 6,000 to 8,000 before the undocumented epidemics introduced by regular European visitors from 1770 onwards. After two documented smallpox epidemics dating back to 1836. And after the kidnapping of about 1,500 islanders by Peruvian slave ships in 1862-63. The earliest reliable estimate of Easter Islanders population of 2,000 people was recorded by missionaries who took up residence in 1864, which was just after an epidemic of smallpox had killed off most of the population. By 1872 there were only 111 native islanders left on Easter Island. Diamond’s, “Collapse: Twilight at Easter Island,” describes the rise and fall of an island eco system and the human population.

[ 1 ]. Many of the facts and quotes are from Jared Diamond’s, “COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose
to Fail or Succeed.”