Hawaii is a state in the Western United States, located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland. It is the only state outside North America, the only state that is an archipelago, and the only state in the tropics.
The islands of Hawaiʻi are distant from other land habitats, and life is thought to have arrived there by wind, waves, and wings, Hawaiʻi has more endangered species and has lost a higher percentage of its endemic species than any other U.S. state. The endemic plant Brighamia now requires hand-pollination because its natural pollinator is presumed to be extinct. The two species of Brighamia—B. rockii and B. insignis—are represented in the wild by around 120 individual plants. To ensure that these plants set seed, biologists rappel down 3,000-foot cliffs to brush pollen onto their stigmas.