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The isolated archipelagos of Remote Oceania provide useful microcosms for understanding the impacts of initial human colonization. Palaeoecological data from most islands reveal catastrophic transformations, with losses of many species through over-hunting, deforestation and the introduction of novel mammalian predators, the most ubiquitous and devastating being commensal rats. Two case studies from the Austral Islands and New Zealand demonstrate the potential of direct human proxies fromdoi:10.1007/s10530-008-9405-0 fatcat:bqw5rseiandz5obb6yecqmxv6m