Protecting and studying the wildness at Earth’s end
Lindblad Expeditions supports stewardship efforts in the places we explore, and one way we do that is through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. Traveler contributions to the LEX-NG Fund aboard our flagships, National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion, currently support three major National Geographic Society initiatives: Pristine Seas, which seeks to protect 20 of the ocean’s wildest places by 2020; the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program, a professional development opportunity for Pre-K–12th grade formal and informal educators; and Early Career Grants, which support future leaders with novel and exploratory projects that span the fields of conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology.
Continue reading below for a snapshot of how our flagships have been platforms for explorations and research in Antarctica, along with LEX-NG Fund projects we have supported over the years.
Aboard National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion, the LEXNG Fund currently supports National Geographic's Pristine Seas Project. Pristine Seas is an exploration, research, and media project to find, survey and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. Pristine Seas is working towards the international goal of protecting 20 of the ocean's wildest places by 2020.
On select South Georgia & the Falklands expeditions in 2017/18 guests will be invited to participate in a BioBlitz. Defined as a limited amount of time in a defined area, trying to find as many species as possible, it’s citizen science at its coolest in one of the planet’s most wildlife-rich locations. Guests will work with naturalists to collect and upload data on sub-Antarctic species. Since these islands get relatively few visitors, these contributions will matter.
Killer whales are the top predator of their environment and a deeper understanding of them provides a crucial baseline for understanding one of the Earth’s most rapidly changing ecosystems. We support researchers who use our ship as a platform for killer whale study around the Antarctic Peninsula.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, whaling ships introduced rats and mice to South Georgia. Since pelagic birds and songbirds of South Georgia largely nest on open ground or in burrows, their eggs and chicks have been decimated by rodents. Thanks to this project, rodents have not been seen on the island since March of 2015, giving native and endemic seabird species a chance to thrive.
As average temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula rise and ice disappears, animals that depend on the ice for habitat, like the leopard seal, are redistributing themselves. Leopard seals are apex predators that impact communities of penguins and other seals. Crittercam research seeks to understand leopard seal hunting behavior and more.
By installing time lapse cameras on the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Island, Extreme Ice Survey uses photography to give a "visual voice" to the retreating glaciers and spread awareness of the impact of climate change on Antarctica.
Our naturalists and shipboard staff helped create IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) in 1991, a very successful organization that advocates, promotes and practices safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to Antarctica.
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