The paper on the Jubaea palms by H-R Bork and A Mieth (RNJ 1712: 119) presents a plausible scenario, but prompt some observations. One might imagine that people dependent upon the palms would notice before 'the feller of the last tree' did his work, especially since Hunter-Anderson tells you that at least some island people are sensitive to the ecological fragility of their environment. On the other hand, recall the difficulty of establishing parks to prevent Pacific Northwest loggers from cutting the last of the old-growth redwood.
McIntyre, Ferren; von Saher, Herbert; Mieth, Andreas; Bork, Hans-Rudolf; and Delsing, Riet
"Letters to the Editor,"
Rapa Nui Journal: Journal of the Easter Island Foundation: Vol. 18
, Article 23.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/rnj/vol18/iss1/23