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Vickie participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2020

My participation

observations and reading on digital tablet
2 to 3 times a day for every 2 hours

My expectations

The stay kept all its promises, to note the dedication of the scientific guide Marie and of the captain, always there to transmit their knowledge and to ensure safety. We have been given the opportunity to observe whales, blue white dolphins, pilot whales and even small loggerhead turtles. The atmosphere on board was very nice, with participants invested and concerned about the well-being of all, an alchemy was therefore created and the observations took place with the utmost seriousness, a lot of emotions to hear the singing dolphins at the bow of the boat. An intense week (observations for two hours under a strong sun are not easy) but the reward of hearing the breath of a 25m whale in the silence of the sea is so moving that the efforts are largely rewarded .

What I retain

curiosity

My assets

respect for others and for nature

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
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Lucile Brunet participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in September 2020
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My participation

We had to make observations from 1h30 to 2h approximately twice a day, according to an established schedule.

My expectations

This trip was amazing. Even though the weather was not right, we saw a sperm whale jumping show on the last day at sea, it was worth the wait! In addition, the team was great, we got on really well.

My advice

Don't forget to bring your fins and your mask / snorkel! And QUIET SEA in case of seasickness!

What I retain

Magical moments with cetaceans, very beautiful encounters with passionate and real people.

My assets

Raise awareness about marine wildlife, put into practice the advice following the very interesting discussions we had with the team (learn English to carry out eco-volunteering missions abroad, take swimming lessons , watch more documentaries on the sea, etc.).

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
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PMA participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2020
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My participation

Monitoring of cetaceans and study of biodiversity in the PELAGOS sanctuary in the western Mediterranean.
More precisely, the work of the ecovolunteer consisted of collecting information on the different species (cetaceans, birds, fish, turtles, jellyfish, etc.) and macro waste observed during navigation, to record this information via the OBSenMER application, to take photos for photo-identification of cetaceans.
As for the schedules, up to six hours per day of observation for each ecovolunteer (per two-hour shift) when the weather conditions were favorable (weak wind, little swell).

My expectations

Yes it was an enriching experience, I enjoyed the exchanges with the other ecovolunteers, with Céline, the director of Cybelle Planète, and with the skipper Pierre. I also liked the navigation at sea aboard a sailboat, in sometimes quite agitated conditions, the anchorages in very beautiful coves of the French Riviera and the good moments of conviviality during the meals taken on board.

My advice

No particular advice, except perhaps having a minimum of the 'sea foot', because the sea conditions can be difficult (strong swell) both at anchor and in navigation and it will be a shame to spend part of the mission with sea ​​sickness.

What I retain

Thanks to Céline, I learned a lot of things about the biology of cetaceans and about biodiversity in the Mediterranean more generally. This mission also gave us the opportunity to progress in sailing thanks to Pierre the skipper.

My assets

None, apart from the need to make daily efforts to preserve our environment, both marine and terrestrial.

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
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Diane C participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission of 7 days, carried out in August 2020
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My participation

The mission consisted of spotting cetaceans, human activity and macro-waste around us throughout the day.
These locations involved measurements from binoculars, taking the data into account precisely on a tablet.
We take turns on an observation shift (every 2 hours), with 3 volunteers and the eco-guide.
Overall, the activity was physical, but exciting.

Life on the boat also required a little discipline: cleaning, cooking. In the same way, rotations are set up.

My expectations

It was an incredible experience. The eco-guide and the skyper taught us so much! As well life on the boat, the life of cetaceans, biodiversity in the Mediterranean, the use of data for external organizations ...

My advice

- Provide external batteries (solar if possible), because the phone battery recharging capacity on the boat is limited - Binoculars are not necessary, because they are loaned for all the measurements - Do not forget the glasses dives and snorkels to be able to discover the fish living in the water in the evening

What I retain

The mission was very rich in lessons from all points of view: - first of all from a biodiversity point of view, I learned a lot about the marine species present in the Mediterranean, their behaviors etc ... - Life on a sailboat is formidable. It was also a big first for me - The impact of man on water. This made me more aware of actions to protect the environment (use of vinegar, biodegradable soap ...)

My assets

Achievements: - awareness of environmental protection (sorting waste, use of bio-degradable products and comestics, etc.) - culture of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
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Mel L participated in the expeditions mission in the Pelagos sanctuary: study of Cetaceans and Biodiversity, France

Mission 7 days, conducted in July 2020
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My participation

Observation of cetaceans via an organization in quarters. Each time a trinomial observed the sea while the others rested / did the cooking or cleaning. The shifts were from 8 a.m. to 18 p.m. with a good lunch break. The day goes by quickly and even when we were not on watch, we were observing the sea. It is not uncommon for volunteers at rest who saw cetaceans first :)

My expectations

The stay corresponded perfectly to my expectations. I was able to participate in the conservation of cetaceans thanks to the ObservenMer app which is very well made and easy to use. We had the chance to go out to sea every day, to spend a night at sea and to make many observations, dolphins, whales including a juvenile and pilot whales by 2 times!

My advice

If you like nature, cetaceans, the sea, go for it! this mission is made for you :) you have to be ready to spend hours observing the blue of the sea but it is for a good cause and when you see a breath or a fin appear it is a pure moment of happiness! I am available if you have any questions :)

What I retain

the mission gave me a better knowledge of the marine world and a lot of serenity. she made me feel useful

My assets

better vigilance for wildlife and better observation skills

The Cetaceans mission Pelagos, France

These sailing expeditions aim to study the marine biodiversity of the open sea in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Pelagos marine mammal sanctuary. The crew records and ...
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Conss participated in the mission Conservation of sea turtles in Nicaragua

Mission 25 days, conducted in July 2017

My participation

The main part of the mission was to control the surrounding beaches and to spot one when a hawksbill turtle was going to lay eggs (usually at night) to take care of the eggs afterwards.
Then during the day, we had to watch the turtle nests until hatching. Then we took measurements of the baby turtles and released them into the ocean.
Around this, there is a whole education on the role of turtles in the ecosystem, mangroves, and all the necessary vegetation, with volunteers but also with local populations.
There is also a role to play in the improvement and conservation of the vegetable patch and fruit trees around the house.

My expectations

Yes, the challenge of going alone, meeting the locals and getting involved in a meaningful project made it one of my most beautiful trips made so far. I am always in contact with the people I meet there, French or not. It's a real personal enrichment!

My advice

Bring board games, books, music to share, beach surveillance is sometimes long and you have to be able to keep busy. Having a complete first aid kit, the house is quite isolated. Allow a few more days to discover Nicaragua elsewhere than on the reserve, other volunteers will probably be available to form a group.

What I retain

This comforted me in the choice of my professional project, I now do studies in the environment and always keep in mind that projects such as this one have a real impact alongside public policies which sometimes take a long time to put in place.

My assets

Everything is linked, during each action I try to think about its consequences on the environment throughout its chain of production and life. My ideals are confirmed and I try to convince my loved ones to change their habits with simple solutions.

The mission Turtles, Nicaragua

This mission is taking place on an island on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, in one of the largest nesting sites for marine turtles in the eastern Pacific. You will contribute to the patrols ...
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Maud participated in the Wildlife Monitoring mission, South Africa

Mission of 14 days, performed in January 2020
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My participation

Wake up at sunrise (breathtaking) to count and list crossed wild animals (species of antelope, rhino, lions, vultures, warthogs, elephants etc). Record the GPS data and their activity when they were crossed (if they eat, if they hunt, if they sleep .... Check if they are adults or young, male or female and how much they are move.
Spot the animals with their telemetry collar
Return to the camp around 10 / 11am after a mid-morning breakfast on site.
Departure around 16 p.m. for missions such as checking wild dogs in bauma (fenced areas for animals in the process of reintroduction). Back in the dark

My expectations

Unimaginable and unspeakable experience. Breathtaking landscapes work within a team of passionate and exemplary people. Always ready to explain the purpose of the actions, to discover the flora and fauna

My advice

January is not that cold. On the other hand, you still have to think about taking a jacket in the morning when you wake up because you will be in the back of the pick up. Take a flashlight because the country is facing many power cuts Not too many mosquitoes in Hluhluwe but other animals that can get stuck in your bed (for my part I had the visit of a nice scorpion) so you have to take your mosquito net

What I retain

This mission brought me a lot of humility in front of giants like elephants or lions which we obviously imagine impressive, but which we live with immense respect. Always aware of this type of cause, life live in this type of mission quickly brings us back to basics. Warm and passionate human contacts, especially around the fire in the evening. Unfortunately, this experience makes us touch the finger, far from our screens, the reality of the poaching disaster with in particular the disaster on the rhinos. Vision and very striking stories which make it possible to sensitize the entourage to this kind of practices during the return home. These stories and images are still intact in my head several months after this experience and I relay it to me to the height of my possibilities.

My assets

Undeniably, speaking English every day with unknown words (scientific or job-specific words) allows you to progress clearly. Go back to basics, especially about wasting water (restriction in this country) Go back to your level of requirements with the electrical restrictions and the comfort you can have at home and which becomes too much when you come back from this type of mission

The mission Wild, South Africa

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By joining this project, you will participate in the monitoring of wildlife in South Africa. The welcome project is dedicated to the preservation of the wild fauna of the bush and more particularly ...
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MARION participated in the ecological monitoring and surveillance mission in the Bouche du Roy community reserve in Benin

Mission of 29 days, performed in January 2020

My participation

The mission consists in ecological monitoring of the community reserve. the missions are very varied and exciting. I took care of monitoring the 3 hatcheries, fed the baby turtles, released them into the sea. Lots of bird inventories on different sites, monitoring crabs, continental fisheries, monitoring the pressures within the mangrove, raising awareness among residents and primary school children, I also participated in meetings within the community.
The hours are rather light, generally from 8 or 9 a.m. to 12 or 13 p.m. and then in the afternoon from 15 p.m. to 18 or 19 p.m. Depending on the mission of the day, the schedules are very variable with evening missions for night patrols of turtles or very early in the morning for certain inventories of seabirds. I had a few half days without a mission and the Weekends are free.

My expectations

It is the first time that I participated in this kind of mission so I did not really know what to expect but I have an incredible memory of it. The team is great, they have a lot to teach us. Life in the village is timeless and the site absolutely magnificent. As for the project, it is an NGO full of envy and future. They actually work for an ecological concern but also enormously in collaboration with the local populations to enrich and help them.

My advice

I can give you advice not to hesitate before booking this mission. They need us. Benin is a reassuring country, I traveled alone in several cities without any fear. You have to know how to be independent and not seek luxury. On the other hand, contrary to what he said in the description, the accommodation at the lodge is supplied with electricity thanks to a solar panel and there is drinking water. A personal bathroom in the room and classic toilets outside. The lodge is very clean and well maintained. They really care about welcoming us and that we are comfortable in space as well as in each mission.

What I retain

This mission brought me a lot, both intellectually and emotionally. I learned about the local flora and fauna, about its importance in the reserve. On the importance of allying populations with each mission. On community life, because honestly this word does not mean anything with us. And on the simplicity of life and the importance of our impact. In addition to your missions you will have the chance to see impressive sunsets and breathtaking landscapes.

My assets

Everything I have learned will serve me in France and in my daily life. As far as our ecological impact is concerned, which I want to reduce more than ever and on my relationships with people. It made me realize that we are getting away from the basics every day

The ecological monitoring mission, South Benin

Ecological monitoring in a community reserve of South Benin During this mission, you will contribute to the ecological monitoring and the surveillance in ...
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Florian and Pauline participated in the Utila Black Iguana Conservation mission in Honduras

Mission 22 days, conducted in December 2019
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My participation

Aiming to protect the Black Iguana from Utila, endemic to the small island previously named, we were able to participate in the in-situ conservation of the species, via monitoring of populations in the mangroves and cleaning of their environments polluted by plastic and tourists (beaches and mangroves); as well as ex-situ via an aid to the management of the Research and Reproduction Center. Within the center, we prepared the daily rations of the resident animals (plants plus search for crabs and thermites three times a week), maintained the cages (cleaning and setting up of a more suitable environment by adding branches and other supports / decorations) and helped maintain the center (exterior and interior of buildings). During this period, we were also able to make numerous presentations to the public, making it possible to make tourists and locals aware of the conservation of animals and their environments. In addition to these presentations, we also co-supervised a canoe-kayak excursion aimed at making tourists discover the mangroves and egg-laying beaches of the species. A project to renovate the education room was also implemented, during which we were able to repaint and decorate tables.
Each day, we worked for approximately 7 hours on a time slot spanning from 8 am to 16 pm approximately, with one and a half days of vacation per week (Saturday afternoon plus another variable day).

My expectations

As our first eco-volunteering mission, we really liked it (especially to me who loves reptiles! (Florian)). In addition to the mosquitoes still present during our stay, we were able to make the most of and discover the island on which we were, taking advantage of the warm welcome and advice from the people working at the center. Do not neglect contact with visitors who prove to be very interesting, also allowing very nice meetings! This period was therefore very enriching for us and it is an experience that we absolutely want to repeat!

My advice

Before planning to leave for this mission, it is important to choose your period carefully. Thus, we fell between the period of hatching of sea turtles and that of reproduction of iguanas. In addition, beware of mosquitoes which can be very present. For this mission, it is necessary to have good skills in English as well as a base in Spanish, this in order to be able to communicate at best with visitors and members of the team. In good basic physical condition, we had no problems during this mission, the field trips being well supervised and generally taking place over a maximum duration of 3h / 4h.

What I retain

This mission allowed us to continue our commitment to the conservation of biodiversity, by making us discover another part of the globe. The meetings made during this mission were also a big plus, allowing us to form links with people from all walks of life. This will also allow me to visualize the impact of the overconsumption of plastics and other products that we may have and which is strongly found in environments that are nevertheless relatively isolated (Pauline).

My assets

For my part (Florian), I work actively for the conservation of animal species and environments in Europe, this will have allowed me to discover new approaches to the conservation of endangered species. Speaking continuously in other languages ​​was also a big plus for us.

The Iguana mission, Honduras

This project is dedicated mainly to the Utila Black Iguana, endemic to this small island in Honduras. This iguana is in critical danger of extinction because of hunting and hunting.
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steph et fab participated in the study and conservation of the Long-tailed Otter, Brazil

Mission of 10 days, performed in February 2020
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My participation

Caring for animals in the sanctuary
Small maintenance and DIY jobs.
8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 14 p.m. to 17 p.m. when we were in the center.
Otherwise half day trip for visits to wild habitat.

My expectations

Very good stay. Very warm welcome in a small team. Location in a magnificent setting with quality accommodation. At the sanctuary, actions aimed at animal welfare and welcoming the public to raise awareness of the protection of species are more emphasized in relation to the "research project" dimension indicated in the documents.

My advice

Provide used clothing for small jobs. We took the liberty of "cuddling" certain non-dangerous resident animals, without being invited, but we do not regret it because the animals loved it and so did we.

What I retain

Fun, serenity and a lot of joie de vivre within the attentive team.

My assets

Progress in the practice of English. Knowledge of the behavior, diet and environments of these species. Sharing the way of life of the people on the Brazilian team.

Otter mission long tail, Brazil

The project's main objective is to study and protect otters in Brazil. This eco-volunteering mission offers you the opportunity to study wild long-tailed otters in their ...
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