Washington, DC, United States

World Wildlife Fund

wwf.org
Washington, DC, United States

The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization founded on April 29, 1961, and is working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment. It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States. It is the world's largest conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. WWF is a foundation, in 2010 deriving 57% of funding from individuals and bequests, 17% from government sources and 11% from corporations.The group's mission is "to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature." Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of three biomes that contain most of the world's biodiversity: oceans and coasts, forests, and freshwater ecosystems. Among other issues, it is also concerned with endangered species, pollution and climate change. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.fastcompany.com

The dot-com suffix at the end of URLs was originally intended to represent companies, just as dot orgs were meant for nonprofit organizations. As the idea of the web has expanded, the list of suffixes, maintained by the nonprofit Internet Corporation of Names and Numbers, which auctions the rights to control each top level domain, now includes a long list, including “web,” “shop,” “app,” “music,” and even “horse.” Anyone can register for, say, a .horse domain name, even if your site isn’t remotely equine in nature. But communities that believe there’s a specific series of letters that should be set aside just for their web presences can propose exceptions in the name of public interest. Hence the more structured world of .edu (for accredited academic institutions only), .gov (for sanctioned governments) and .ca (for those in Canada). Now there’s one for environmental issues: .eco. Big Room, a Vancouver-based consultancy, and B-corp has created a pathway for the environmental and sustainability-minded: It’s called the Dot Eco Registry. “What we did was a little bit weird,” says Trevor Bowden, the cofounder of Big Room and the new registration service. “There are lots of examples where registration and the extension is totally open. [But] we thought the only way that this was going to have any trust and credibility around it is if the environmental community was with us, and behind us and engaged in how .eco is run.” The process started nearly a decade ago when Bowden and cofounder Jacob Malthouse learned that the .eco name might eventually become available. At the time, both worked at the United Nations Environment Program, where they coached banks and financial institutions about how to make environmentally responsible investments. They used their contacts in the community to form the Dot Eco Council, a coalition of a dozen major sustainability and conservation groups including the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace and B-Lab in the U.S., Acatu Institute in Brazil, Greenbelt Foundation in Canada, and Development Alternatives in India. Over about 18 months the group hammered out a set of priorities for the potential registry, the most important of which was transparency. To gain a domain name, all .eco applicants might take a pledge signifying their environmental commitment, and create a profile that highlights what they’re doing in the space. Its a fairly easy and initially unregulated process. Users can register through any domain name intermediary (say, Name.com or GoDaddy) but before their site goes live they’ll receive an email that redirects them to a mandatory .eco registry page. Taking the pledge requires a check-the-box agreement “to support positive change for the planet and to be honest when sharing information on environmental actions.” Users must then specify “sustainability priorities” from a menu of different causes, list their current “environmental actions” augmented if possible by links or files, and share “partners” to telegraph alliances, all of which are then publicly viewable. Applications may be reviewed but are not directly policed. It’s up to the community to spot issues and report them. After the details were ironed out, over 50 of the world’s more prominent institutions, including Conservation International, the UN Global Compact, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Carbon Disclosure Project, Global Reporting Initiative, and Suzuki Foundation wrote ICANN letters of support.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: phys.org

The Saimaa ringed seal, named after their home in Europe's fourth-largest lake, is found only in these waters and is one of just five remaining freshwater seal species in the world. But milder winters have left few shoreline snow banks for the seals to burrow into lairs where they give birth to pups, and many get caught in fishing nets. During the next few weeks, viewers will be able to tune into the seal watch stream known as "Norppa Live," from the Finnish name for seal, although not that much action is expected. Often the seals are difficult to spot, lying motionless on the smooth rounded rocks they resemble. Sometimes all you can see is just an empty rock. "Not a lot happens," says Joonas Fritze, a conservationist from World Wildlife Fund Finland. "The highlights are seal climbing on a rock, seal turning on a rock, seal scratching itself, but that's the beauty of it ... I guess that's part of it, like, real slow TV. So it's kind of like an opposite of the hectic life people live." The organization is hoping for a large audience after its successful launch last year became an online hit in Finland, where it was broadcast in offices, schools, libraries and hotel lobbies, drawing more than 2 million viewers in the Nordic nation of 5.5 million. The irresistible seal pups, with their furry heads, often find rocks sheltered by tall reeds near the shoreline. Other, bigger specimens, sprawl out like lumps of soft rock, unaware of the hidden camera. Last year a male seal became so popular that thousands of people sent in suggestions to name him—the winner was Pullervo, which referred to his "chubby" shape. There were hopes of a romance with a popular female seal, but that apparently didn't materialize. As word has spread about the seals' plight, conservationists again expect millions of viewers to tune in hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the remaining 360 Saimaa seals—according to the latest count by Parks and Wildlife Finland. Although the seals have a fairly carefree existence in the sprawling labyrinth of waterways that make up Lake Saimaa, dotted with more than 1,300 islands, there is one real threat—fishing nets. The lake is a popular venue for Finns, who flock to thousands of summer villas spread along the shores of the country's 180,000 lakes, where fishing plays a major role in everyday activities, including laying nets. Young pups are particularly prone to getting caught in them and consequently drown. Fritze hopes that seals online will help. "We hope we can raise awareness of this special animal and tell people about the species and its threats," he says. "And people learn that a net fishing is a big threat to the seal." Lack of snow is also causing a worry for conservationists. "The ice came quite early, already in December, and there was time for the snow to accumulate and build those snow banks," said Petteri Tolvanen from WWF Finland. "And now the situation is much worse for the seals and in some years there (are) hardly any natural snow banks." In 2016, helped by a band of volunteers, conservationists decided to build their own snow banks, creating 211 man-made snowdrifts where 40 seal pups were born. Earlier this year, they constructed 277. "The ringed seal is totally dependent on ice and snow when breeding," Tolvanen said. Scientists from the nearby University of Eastern Finland in the city of Lappeenranta, are studying the seals with camera traps, using their unique fur patterns to identify them and produce useful data about their movements and population changes. It's not all bad news. The population has been slowly growing since hunting them was banned in 1955. "The population is slowly growing, the situation is getting better," said Meeri Koivuniemi, a scientist at the University of Eastern Finland, but cautions that should remain alert to the dangers facing the seals. WWF Finland launched the live stream wwf.fi/en/norppalive/ on May 10 and is expected to continue till the beginning of June. By that time the seals will have finished malting and will retreat back into the lake's cool waters. Explore further: Human intervention can help endangered Saimaa ringed seal adapt to climate change


Narwhals are known as the unicorns of the sea because of their distinct tusk. The purpose of this long tooth has been unclear, but a new drone video of the marine mammals that were taken in Tremblay Sound in Nunavut, Canada helps unveil this mystery. Narwhals are a species of toothed whale that are characterized by their long tusks that can grow as long as 8.8 feet long in males. The females of the species were also observed to grow tusks albeit theirs are smaller in size. The animals actually have two teeth but one breaks through the upper lip and gets mistaken for a horn. About 90 percent of the world's narwhal population can be found in the waters of Canada. The footage, which was captured by researchers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada, shows the pale porpoises stunning Arctic cods using their long tusk prior to capturing and devouring these preys. The toothed whales, in particular, hit their prey using jagged and quick movements that immobilize the fish and make them easier to prey upon. "This is an entirely new observation of how the tusk is used," said Brandon Laforest, from WWF-Canada. Capturing the footage of the narwhals is a rare feat for researchers because the animals are elusive. They are rarely seen in their icy Arctic habitat. The researchers managed to capture the footage of these marine mammals while tracking the movement of the narwhals in a bid to identify their critical habitats that need to be protected. WWF-Canada president David Miller said that the footage will have an important role in the future of conservation efforts to save the narwhals. Knowing the key regions where the animals rely on for food and calving may help conservationists protect these environments and the animals' migratory routes. Identifying these critical areas and taking these into consideration when creating shipping routes, for instance, can reduce disturbance to the species. The species are currently threatened by climate change and industrial development. They face increased risk of being struck by ships as extraction of minerals and tourism became more prevalent in their habitats. Noise produced by ships can also interfere with their ability to communicate. Although the video confirms one of the theories of how narwhals use their tusks, researchers said that the tusks still have other purposes such as for ice picks, sexual selection, weapons, and as a tool for echolocation. Scientists earlier thought that the tusk has a role in the mammals' mating rituals with the male narwhals using it to battle with other males of the species to win mates or to show off to potential partners. The new drone video, however, shows how narwhals actually use their tusk. Researchers also think that the tusk also serves as an important sensory organ, which is covered in thousands of nerve endings and pores that play a role in narwhals sensing the environment around them. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Scientists have finally figured out what the unicorn tusk on a narwhal’s head is for and it turns out it’s a weapon. Drone video footage caught the arctic whales using the long, spiraled tusk on their heads to smack and stun fish before eating them. The World Wildlife Fund released the video (below) on Friday, and in it you can see narwhals slapping arctic cod with their tusk, so quickly that you could easily miss it and have to rewind. While the prey is immobile, the narwhal gobbles it up. That tusk, which has earned it the nickname “the unicorn of the sea,” is actually an especially long tooth that can grow up to 9 feet long. According to the WWF, the behavior of using the horn to stun fish has never been caught on film before. Previous theories on the use of the horn included fighting between males in a sort of jousting match. “People have been trying to figure out the function of the narwhal tusk for a long time,” Brandon Laforest, senior arctic specialist for WWF-Canada, said in the organization’s explanatory video. “While there are some things we know about it — it is full of nerves, it likely has a sensory capacity and it’s not used for fighting — this footage has shown us a new feature, which is narwhal using it to catch fish.” “Research like this will continue to shed light on the biology of narwhal and will lead to more information which we can use to make proper conservation decisions in the future to safeguard the species,” Laforest said. The whales live in the arctic waters surrounding Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. According to the WWF, narwhals can grow to 17 feet long and can weigh up to 4,200 pounds. They eat fish like halibut as well as squid and shrimp. Narwhals are born with a grayish color but turn black when they mature. The elderly narwhals have white streaks or turn nearly completely white. Males are often the ones that have the tusks, but some females also sport the facial appendages. When the tusk appears, it is one of only two teeth — the left one. “In most males, the right tooth remains embedded in the skull,” the Canadian governmental organization Fisheries and Oceans Canada explained. However, some males rarely have two outward tusks. “They seem very agile with their tusk, when you watch the video,” Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Marianne Marcoux said. “They can flip the fish in very agile ways, so what’s very exciting to me is like what else can they do with their tusk?”


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: motherboard.vice.com

While trekking through the lush Guatemalan jungle years ago, local environmentalists encountered a problem. Fundaeco, a conservation group they worked for, wanted them to engage the local communities, and enlist their help in protecting the valuable ecosystem. But half of the population were too sick to help. "Here we were trying to do conservation, trying to get communities involved in conservation, and women were dying giving birth," said Marco Cerezo, Fundaeco's general director. In rural Guatemala there are stark rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, and limited access to health care of any kind, let alone reproductive care.This realization spurred Fundaeco to shift its focus on not just rainforest conservation but also women's health. And it found something remarkable: in the areas where women were given access to reproductive health care and education, Fundaeco's conservation efforts started to improve. Helping women wasn't only the right thing to do, it was a major contributor to protecting the rainforest. Without prioritizing the health and role of women in the community, there's only so much progress to be made on an environmental front, according to Felisa Navas Pérez, the president of one of the forestry concessions in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, which shifts forest stewardship back to local indigenous communities. "One of the challenges is educating people to understand that women have to be active in all fields and decision-making processes," Pérez told me. "Otherwise it creates a conflict between what is good for them as a woman and the actual decisions that are made." But Cerezo and other like-minded conservationists have struggled to get recognition with the worlds of conservation and women's health. Even as more evidence mounts that the two efforts benefit each other, many in the global development field are reluctant to break down long-established silos. I met Cerezo in Guatemala City, far from where he and his colleagues do their field work. He told me that he presented this idea the global conference for the International Union for Conservation of Nature last fall. This summit is held just once every four years, and is the world's largest gathering of conservationists, but Cerezo's ideas on combining women's health with environmentalism were not embraced. "If people understood how powerful this is, they would get on board." "Unfortunately, only about 35 people attended," Cerezo told me. But what he's preaching seems to work. Fundeco started to provide reproductive health care, including midwifery and new medical clinics. And the women, in turn, started to become advocates for the rainforest, especially since they're usually the ones directly interacting with natural resources. "Women in these communities are the ones who go out to fetch wood, or collect water, and if they're not empowered, the community doesn't even know if they had to walk for four hours to get firewood [because of deforestation]," Cerezo said. "If they're not even allowed to complain, then nobody will take care of the problem." The organization now operates the largest network of rural women's health clinics in Guatemala, with 22 clinics in some of the country's farthest corners. "The women are healthier, they're using family planning methods, and they're becoming leaders," Cerezo said. "They can participate in taking care of their water, and forests, and all of a sudden women are becoming our main partners in the community because they're health, they feel better, and they're empowered." So far, all the evidence they have is anecdotal, which Cerezo said it frustrating. There's a "gap" he says, between what researchers sitting in labs say and what he sees every day in the field, and it makes it difficult to convince his peers in conservation that this kind of collaborative approach works. Robert Engelman, a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research group in DC, co-authored a report for Worldwatch that combed through scientific research to look for evidence of the impact population health, particularly reproductive health, has on the environment. They found a smattering of data points that showed a positive impact: in general, when women have access to reproductive health care, they're more likely to participate in their communities, and that has a positive impact on conservation efforts. But nothing was anywhere near conclusive. Part of the problem is that it's tough to get funding for this kind of research, and it's difficult to execute: how, for example, would you do a control group? Offer one group of women in the community access to reproductive health but not others? Engelman said it's also not been a priority on the ground. This lack of peer-reviewed evidence, combined with a squeamishness about treading too close to population control, has made it even more difficult to convince people that it's the right move. But major conservation groups have dabbled in the idea of folding in women's empowerment and health care to their environmental goals. The World Wildlife Fund, for example, has a program in partnership with CARE, the international relief nonprofit. Though it used to do some work on health care, the focus now is purely on women's empowerment. The workers in this program have seen results, too, but also struggle with preaching the importance to the wider conservation community. "Field staff tend to get it more," said Althea Skinner, a senior program officer with Care-WWF. "There's a bit of a disconnect in terms of having a conversation about gender integration in conservation. There's a gap between the field and headquarters. If people understood how powerful this is as a tool, they would get on board." For now, those involved in this kind of strategy are soldiering on, hoping that enough anecdotal evidence might compel other groups to give this holistic approach a shot. At the end of the day, even if a direct link between women's health and conservation can't be established, is working together towards a common goal really such a bad idea? Travel expenses while reporting this story were funded through a fellowship provided by the UN Foundation. Subscribe to Science Solved It , Motherboard's new show about the greatest mysteries that were solved by science.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

Grand Prizes Include Nature Expeditions to Photograph Polar Bears in Churchill, Canada, and Brown Bears in Alaska -- Photographers who love wildlife are invited to submit up to three of their best photos to Natural Habitat Adventures' 2017 Wildlife Photo Contest (http://dailywildlifephoto.nathab.com/contests/2-2017-wildlife-photo-contest). The event is hosted on the company's Wildlife Photo of the Day website that celebrates the world's most captivating and stunning wildlife photos.Entrants may submit photos between May 1 and 11:59 p.m. MDT on May 31, 2017. The People's Choice Award voting period is from June 1 to 11:59 p.m. MDT on June 30, 2017. Voters may cast their ballots once a day. Each time someone votes, they receive one entry into a drawing for the chance to win a $500 Visa gift card.The contest welcomes photo submissions of animals taken anywhere in the world, as long as the animals are not in captivity of any kind. Photos of animals in wildlife conservancies or wildlife preserves are allowed. All contest entrants and anyone voting must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the U.S. or Canada.The public will decide the winners of theby voting online. The winner of this award will secure a spot on Nat Hab's Classic Polar Bear Photo Adventure ( http://www.nathab.com/ photo-tours/ polar-bear/polar- bear-p... ) in Churchill, Manitoba. This is a 7-day, 6-night program valued at $7,700. Roundtrip flights are included. Guests spend three full days photographing polar bears on the tundra with expert Photo Expedition Leaders. Just 16 guests will travel aboard custom Polar Rover vehicles with plenty of room to position for superb shots. An exclusive steel-mesh outdoor observation deck provides opportunities for extreme close-ups when bears wander below.Thewill be determinedby a panel of Nat Hab wildlife photographers and Photo Expedition Leaders. This award winner will travel on Nat Hab's Great Alaskan Grizzly Photo Adventure ( http://www.nathab.com/ alaska-northern- adventures/grizzlie... ) to Alaska's Katmai National Park. This is an 8-day, 7-night program valued at $10,200. Roundtrip flights are included. Guests will photograph giant Alaskan brown bears—the world's largest coastal grizzlies—at very close range in a truly wild and remote setting. Access is facilitated aboard a private small ship that enters the coves and bays the bears frequent. Guests will also walk on shore in the careful company of a veteran Expedition Leader, safely observing the bears from just feet away.Eight(three from People's Choice voting and five chosen by the expert panel) will win a $150 gift card to B&H Photography Store.Natural Habitat Adventures launched the Wildlife Photo of the Day website in 2015. An exciting new wildlife image is featured on the platform every day, and each photo includes a link to conservation information provided by World Wildlife Fund (http://www.nathab.com/wwf/). Photo contest entrants may see their entries selected as the featured daily photo on the site.For information on all of Nat Hab's trips, descriptive itineraries, date availability and reservations, call 800-543-8917 or visit http://www.nathab.com/. Click HERE (https://forms.nathab.com/catalog/) to order a copy of the 2017 catalog.Natural Habitat Adventures is a world leader in responsible adventure travel and nature-based ecotourism. Since its founding in 1985, the company has offered eco-conscious expeditions and wildlife-focused small-group tours to the planet's most remarkable nature destinations. Inspired and created from years of scouring the planet for the singular and extraordinary, Nat Hab's itineraries are artfully crafted experiences that are far from "typical." Trips are guided by professional naturalist Expedition Leaders (http://www.nathab.com/guides-and-staff/guide-bios/), and Nat Hab enjoys a longstanding reputation for hiring some of the world's best guides. Conservation is at the forefront of everything NHA does, and its philosophy is simple: tourism must work with and benefit local communities, which will in turn find value in protecting natural resources and wildlife. NHA is proud to be the travel partner of World Wildlife Fund, sharing a mutual commitment to travel as a means of helping to protect the world's wondrous natural places. Nat Hab has donated more than $2 million to WWF and will continue to donate 1 percent of gross sales plus $100,000 annual through 2018 in support of WWF's mission.Sara Widness / sara@widnesspr.com / Phone: 802-234-6704Dave Wiggins / dave@travelnewssource.com / Phone: 720-301-3822


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND; the "Company" or "Lindblad"), a global provider of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Lindblad has started 2017 with significant operating momentum as bookings for future travel are up nearly 60% from the same period a year ago. While first quarter financial results were negatively impacted by unique voyage cancellations, the meaningful demand we are seeing for both existing and new vessels across our expedition fleet reinforces the appeal of our product and the opportunity we have to grow this business as we expand our current capacity. The National Geographic Quest will launch next month and has virtually sold out its inaugural Alaskan season, while its sister ship the National Geographic Venture is well under way for delivery in June 2018. We are also close to finalizing our plans for a new build blue water vessel to be delivered in the second quarter of 2019. This increased capacity, combined with a loyal and expanding customer base which seeks an authentic expedition experience that we have a proven track record of providing, is expected to generate significant earnings growth and create additional shareholder value in the years ahead." First quarter tour revenues of $63.1 million increased $1.6 million, or 3%, as compared to 2016. The increase was primarily due to contributions from Natural Habitat, which was acquired in May of 2016, mostly offset by lower Lindblad segment revenues due in large part to an estimated $9.1 million impact from voyage cancellations. These voyage cancellations included four highly booked expeditions on the National Geographic Orion to repair the engine and the cancellation of two highly booked expeditions on the National Geographic Sea Lion to repair the air conditioning system. Excluding the impact of these voyage cancellations, the Company estimates that total Company tour revenue would have increased 17% to $72.3 million. Lindblad segment revenues of $53.2 million decreased $8.4 million, or 14%, compared to 2016, due to an $8.9 million decrease in ticket revenues driven by the voyage cancellations, partially offset by a $0.5 million increase in other tour revenues. Other tour revenues increased due to $1.9 million of insurance revenue related to the National Geographic Orion cancellations, which was mostly offset by lower other tour revenue due to the voyage cancellations. Excluding the impact of the voyage cancellations, the Company estimates that Lindblad segment revenue would have increased 1% to $62.3 million mainly due to the launch of charter expeditions in Cuba, offset by lower overall Occupancy. Available Guest Nights declined by 18% as compared with the first quarter a year ago, primarily due to the voyage cancellations, partially offset by the launch of charter expeditions in Cuba. Lindblad segment Net Yield of $1,008 was in-line with the first quarter a year ago as increased pricing was offset by the impact of voyage cancellations on itineraries with higher net yields, as well as from a decline in overall Occupancy.  Occupancy decreased to 87% from 92% a year ago primarily due to the cancellation of high occupancy voyages as well as from lower bookings during the first half of 2016 due to concerns over the Zika virus and terrorism and from a delay in direct mail marketing. Net income for the first quarter was $0.6 million, $0.01 per diluted share, as compared with net income of $10.5 million, $0.23 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016. The $9.8 million decrease is primarily due to the lower operating results and $2.9 million of additional stock based compensation expense in the current year primarily related to grants under the 2016 CEO Share Allocation Plan, which provides our CEO the ability to transfer shares from his existing holdings in the Company to eligible employees. First quarter adjusted EBITDA of $10.3 million decreased $7.3 million, or 42%, compared to the same period in 2016, due to a $7.7 million decrease at the Lindblad segment, partially offset by $0.4 million of contributions from Natural Habitat.  Excluding the estimated $6.5 million impact from the voyage cancellations, total Company adjusted EBITDA would have declined 5% to $16.7 million and Lindblad segment adjusted EBITDA would have declined 7% to $16.3 million, primarily reflecting the lower Occupancy. On a reported basis, the decline in the Lindblad segment primarily reflects the lower tour revenues in 2017 as well as higher charter costs, partially offset by a decline in fuel costs and lower operating expenses on the vessels with cancelled voyages. The impact of the cancelled voyages on tour revenues was calculated as booked tour revenue at the time of cancellation less insurance proceeds.  The impact of the cancelled voyages on operating income and adjusted EBITDA was calculated as booked tour revenue at the time of cancellation less insurance proceeds and estimated operating costs. The Company's cash and cash equivalents were $103.8 million as of March 31, 2017, as compared with $135.4 million as of December 31, 2016. The decrease primarily reflects purchases of property and equipment of $22.8 million, mostly related to the construction of two new coastal vessels partially offset by $2.7 million in net cash provided by operating activities. The current quarter also reflects $5.6 million of cash used to repurchase stock and warrants. Free cash flow use was $20.1 million for the first quarter of 2017 as compared with $7.9 million in the first quarter of 2016 primarily due to the capital expenditures for the new vessels. Free cash flow is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment. The Company expanded its travel offerings in December 2016 with new expeditions in Cuba that will operate on a seasonal basis from December through March. The Company's two new-build coastal vessels are proceeding on schedule. The first vessel, National Geographic Quest, is expected to launch on June 26, 2017 and will sail in Alaska and British Columbia during the summer of 2017 before voyaging to Costa Rica and Panama to provide expeditions for the Northern Hemisphere winter season. The second vessel, National Geographic Venture, is expected to launch in June of 2018. Pursuant to its existing $35 million stock and warrant repurchase plan, during the first quarter the Company repurchased 513,372 warrants for $1.1 million at an average price of $2.15 and 480,864 shares of stock for $4.5 million at an average price of $9.25.  As of May 3, 2017 the Company had repurchased 5.4 million warrants and 830,382 shares under the plan for a total of $21.6 million and had $13.4 million remaining under the plan.  As of May 3, 2017 there were 45.1 million common shares and 10.7 million warrants outstanding. The Company's current expectations for the full year 2017 are as follows: This outlook includes the estimated $9.1 million revenue impact and estimated $6.5 million adjusted EBITDA impact associated with the cancellation of four voyages on the National Geographic Orion and two voyages on the National Geographic Sea Lion for necessary repairs.  As of May 1, 2017, the Lindblad segment had 92% of full year 2017 projected guest ticket revenues on the books versus 93% of full year 2016 revenue at the same time last year.  The Company also continues to anticipate it will achieve its long-range revenue and adjusted EBITDA targets. The Company uses a variety of operational and financial metrics, including non-GAAP financial measures such as adjusted EBITDA, Occupancy, Net Yields and Net Cruise Costs, to enable it to analyze its performance and financial condition. The Company utilizes these financial measures to manage its business on a day-to-day basis and believes that they are the most relevant measures of performance. Some of these measures are commonly used in the cruise and tourism industry to evaluate performance. The Company believes these non-GAAP measures provide expanded insight to assess revenue and cost performance, in addition to the standard GAAP-based financial measures. There are no specific rules or regulations for determining non-GAAP measures, and as such, they may not be comparable to measures used by other companies within the industry. The presentation of non-GAAP financial information should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. The definitions of non-GAAP financial measures along with a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial information to GAAP are included in the supplemental financial schedules beginning on page 10. The Company has scheduled a conference call at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on May 9, 2017 to discuss the earnings of the Company. The conference call can be accessed by dialing (844) 378-6487 (United States), (855) 669-9657 (Canada) or (412) 542-4182 (outside the U.S.). A replay of the call will be available at the Company's investor relations website, investors.expeditions.com. Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. is an expedition travel company that focuses on ship-based voyages through its Lindblad Expeditions brand and on land-based travel through its subsidiary, Natural Habitat Adventures, an adventure travel and ecotourism company with a focus on responsible nature travel. Lindblad Expeditions works in partnership with National Geographic to inspire people to explore and care about the planet. The organizations work in tandem to produce innovative marine expedition programs and to promote conservation and sustainable tourism around the world. The partnership's educationally oriented voyages allow guests to interact with and learn from leading scientists, naturalists and researchers while discovering stunning natural environments, above and below the sea, through state-of-the-art exploration tools. Natural Habitat partners with the World Wildlife Fund to offer and promote conservation and sustainable travel that directly protects nature. Natural Habitat's adventures include polar bear tours in Churchill, Canada, Alaskan grizzly bear adventures and African safaris. Certain matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include the Company's financial projections and may also generally be identified as such because the context of such statements will include words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" or words of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe the Company's financial guidance or future plans, objectives or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those expected, including, but not limited to, the following: (i) changes adversely affecting the business in which the Company is engaged; (ii) management of the Company's growth and its ability to execute on its planned growth; (iii) general economic conditions; (iv) the Company's business strategy and plans; (v) unscheduled disruptions in our business due to weather events, mechanical failures, or other events; (vi) compliance with applicable laws and regulations; (vii) compliance with the financial and/or operating covenants in the Company's amended and restated credit agreement; (viii) adverse publicity regarding the cruise industry in general; (ix) loss of business due to competition; (x) the result of future financing efforts; (xi) the inability to meet revenue and adjusted EBITDA projections; and (xii) those risks described in the Company's filings with the SEC. Stockholders, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made herein are made only as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More detailed information about factors that may affect the Company's performance may be found in its filings with the SEC, which are available at http://www.sec.gov or at http://www.expeditions.com in the Investor Relations section of the Company's website. Adjusted EBITDA is net income (loss) excluding depreciation and amortization, net interest expense, other income (expense), and income tax benefit (expense), and other supplemental adjustments. Other supplemental adjustments include certain non-operating items such as stock-based compensation, the National Geographic fee amortization, merger-related expenses, and acquisition-related expenses. The Company believes adjusted EBITDA, when considered along with other performance measures, is a useful measure as it reflects certain operating drivers of the business, such as sales growth, operating costs, selling and administrative expense, and other operating income and expense. The Company believes adjusted EBITDA helps provide a more complete understanding of the underlying operating results and trends and an enhanced overall understanding of the Company's financial performance and prospects for the future. While adjusted EBITDA is not a recognized measure under GAAP, management uses this financial measure to evaluate and forecast business performance. adjusted EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of liquidity or cash flows from operations or a measure comparable to net income as it does not take into account certain requirements, such as unearned passenger revenues, capital expenditures and related depreciation, principal and interest payments, and tax payments. The Company's use of adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to other companies within the industry. The following metrics apply to the Lindblad segment: Adjusted Net Cruise Cost represents Net Cruise Cost adjusted for Non-GAAP other supplemental adjustments which include certain non-operating items such as stock-based compensation, the National Geographic fee amortization, merger-related expenses, and acquisition-related expenses. Available Guest Nights is a measurement of capacity and represents double occupancy per cabin (except single occupancy for a single capacity cabin) multiplied by the number of cruise days for the period. The Company also records the number of guest nights available on its limited land programs in this definition. Gross Cruise Cost represents the sum of cost of tours plus merger-related expenses, selling and marketing expense, and general and administrative expense. Gross Yield represents tour revenues less insurance proceeds divided by Available Guest Nights. Guest Nights Sold represents the number of guests carried for the period multiplied by the number of nights sailed within the period. Maximum Guests is a measure of capacity and represents the maximum number of guests in a period and is based on double occupancy per cabin (except single occupancy for a single capacity cabin). Net Cruise Cost represents Gross Cruise Cost excluding commissions and certain other direct costs of guest ticket revenues and other tour revenues. Net Revenue represents tour revenues less insurance proceeds, commissions and direct costs of other tour revenues. Number of Guests represents the number of guests that travel with the Company in a period. Occupancy is calculated by dividing Guest Nights Sold by Available Guest Nights. Voyages represent the number of ship expeditions completed during the period. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lindblad-expeditions-holdings-inc-reports-2017-first-quarter-financial-results-300453791.html


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.19 | Award Amount: 9.36M | Year: 2011

Environmental change and particularly amplified global climate change are accelerating in the Arctic. These changes already affect local residents and feedback from the Arctics land surface to the climate system, will have global implications. However, climate change and its impacts are variable throughout the wide environmental and land use envelopes of the Arctic. Unfortunately, the Arctic is generally remote, sparsely populated and research and monitoring activities are more restricted in time and space than elsewhere. This limitation comes when there is a rapidly expanding need for knowledge as well as increasing technological opportunities to make data collection in the field and accessibility more efficient. INTERACT is a network under the auspices of SCANNET, a circumarctic network of terrestrial field bases. INTERACT specifically seeks to build capacity for research and monitoring in the European Arctic and beyond. Partnerships will be established between Station Managers and researchers within Joint Research Activities that will develop more efficient networks of sensors to measure changing environmental conditions and make data storage and accessibility more efficient through a single portal. New communities of researchers will be offered access to Arctic terrestrial infrastructures while local stakeholders as well as major international organisations will be involved in interactions with the infrastructures. This will lead to increased public awareness of environmental change and methods to adapt to them, increased access to information for education at all levels, and input to major international research and assessment programmes.The whole consortium will form a coherent and integrated unit working within a concept of a wide environmental and land use envelopes in which local conditions determine the directions and magnitudes of environmental change whereas the balance and synergies of processes integrated across the whole region have global impacts.


Barber-Meyer S.M.,World Wildlife Fund
Conservation Biology | Year: 2010

Illegal international trade in wildlife (excluding fisheries and timber) has been valued at more than US$20 billion. A more precise figure has not been determined in part because of the clandestine nature of the trade, and for this same reason even regional and local levels of wildlife trade are difficult to assess. The application of recent developments in wildlife field-survey methods (e.g., occupancy) now allows for a more-accurate estimation of wildlife trade occurrence, including its hidden components at a variety of scales (e.g., regional, local) and periods (e.g., single season, 1 year, multiple years). Occupancy models have been applied in wildlife field studies to address the problem of false absences when conducting presence-absence surveys. Occupancy surveys differ from traditional presence-absence surveys because they incorporate repeat surveys, allowing for the likelihood of detecting a species (the probability of detection) to be estimated explicitly (in contrast to traditional surveys that often incorrectly treat this probability as close to one to allow for estimation of presence). Occupancy methods can be applied to a variety of wildlife-trade surveys, including, for example, single-species availability, links between two illegally traded species (i.e., co-occurrence), and disease occurrence in live trade. In addition, free user-friendly software (i.e., PRESENCE) allows even nonstatisticians to adequately address this issue. I simulated a hypothetical wildlife-trade market survey that resulted in an apparent 20% decline in naïve occupancy (proportion of surveyed towns engaged in the trade) over 2 years, but when I accounted for change in probability of detection over the years the difference in occupancy was not statistically significant. As more sophisticated methods, such as occupancy, are applied to wildlife-trade market surveys, results will be more robust and defensible and therefore, theoretically, more powerful when presented to conservation policy and decision makers. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology.


Mascia M.B.,World Wildlife Fund | Pailler S.,World Wildlife Fund
Conservation Letters | Year: 2011

National parks and other protected areas (PAs) are the foundation of global efforts to conserve biological diversity. Conservation policy and practice assume that PAs are permanent fixtures on the landscape, but scattered evidence points to widespread-yet largely overlooked-PA downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD). As a preliminary investigation of PADDD and its implications for conservation science and policy, we explore the published literature and contemporary media reports. We identify 89 historic instances of PADDD, in 27 countries, since 1900. Contemporary accounts reveal that PADDD has recently occurred or is currently under consideration in at least 12 countries worldwide. Proximate causes of PADDD vary widely, but center on access to and use of natural resources. Case studies from India and South America highlight the fact that PAs are socially defined and socially constructed governance regimes, responsive to social pressures-including conservation demands-at local to global scales. PADDD challenges longstanding assumptions underlying conservation policy and practice, including efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), and underscores the need for resilient and robust conservation strategies. Because many fundamental questions regarding PADDD remain unanswered, further research is required to understand this conservation phenomenon and develop tailored policy responses. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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