The effect of the Toba super-eruption at 74 kyr on the mammals of Southeast Asia is examined. Although few Late Pleistocene sites from Southeast Asia have been described, an analysis of those which pre- and post-date Toba reveals relatively few species became extinct following the eruption. It is suggested that species survived in refugia immediately following the eruption, and that they repopulated vast areas following a probable short period (i.e. decades to century) of environmental devastation. This study suggests that mammals are more robust at coping with catastrophic events than previously acknowledged, and questions the perceived human monopoly in overcoming ecological adversity.