Hawaii: "The Endangered Species Capital of the United States"


Hawaii's biodiversity is in crisis. Human development and the introduction of thousands of invasive species have put Hawaii's native plants at risk, and taken numerous species all the way into extinction.

Steve Perlman, a field researcher for the U.S. National Tropical Botanical Garden on the island of Kauai, has observed several species die out completely, but also rediscovered more than 20 species believed to be extinct. Perlman collects rare plants on the verge of extinction and equates his work to save them with "hospice care." According to a must-read report from the Voice of America, at least 120 Hawaiian plant species under conservation have less than 50 individual plants left.

Perlman says the rate of species extinction in Hawaii is speeding up, calls Hawaii "the endangered species capital of the United States."

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