Drones Are Helping Botanists Hunt for Hawaii’s Rarest Plants

Adam Williams and Ben Nyberg are like the Indiana Joneses of plant conservation, leading the crusade to preserve Hawaii’s most distinct — and endangered — plants.

Hawaii’s biodiversity is unique, largely because of its isolation: Nearly 90% of native plants don’t grow anywhere else in the world, according to the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. But that isolation has also left it vulnerable to threats like invasive species and environmental changes. So even though Hawaii makes up less than 1% of U.S. landmass, it’s now home to nearly 45% of all endangered and threatened plants in the U.S.

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