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Cybelle Méditerranée Newsletter - November 2015

In this Newsletter:

  • Ecovolunteering expeditions 2015
  • Boaters side
  • team is growing!
  • A dedicated sailboat
  • New location!
  • A Cybelle App… to come
  • Econav network
  • Things are happening in Participatory Sciences!

Ecovolunteering expeditions 2015

As every year, Cybelle Planète offers eco-volunteering missions "Cetaceans and Biodiversity in the Mediterranean". This expedition allows ecovolunteers to go to sea for a week or two to collect information on Mediterranean fauna. These data are then integrated into the Cybelle Méditerranée database and sent to researchers with whom we have been working in partnership for 10 years now!

In 2015, 15 expedition weeks were carried out from mid-June to the end of September, thus allowing 92 eco-volunteers to actively participate in the project. The sightings were numerous: 35 fin whales, 1 Minke whale, 11 sperm whales, 460 blue and white dolphins, 138 unidentified dolphins, 8 Risso dolphins, 184 pilot whales, 2 bottlenose dolphins, 2 sea turtles, 12 sea devils , and more than thirty fried egg jellyfish have been seen.

A detailed report will be communicated to you shortly.

The entire Cybelle Planète team would like to thank the eco-volunteers for their invaluable contribution to this program, as well as the boat managers and eco-guides who supervised them.

Boaters side

Cybelle Méditerranée, it's not just eco-volunteering expeditions… Make way for Boaters who regularly report their observations to us!

We are very happy to see that more and more of you are signing up for the program and contributing to it by sending us your animal observations.

Each observation counts and is one more stone added to the building.

The data collected by boaters are added to the database of the Cybelle Méditerranée program and taken into account in studies carried out by scientists.

The team is growing!

Since September XNUMX, Margaux Chauvin left her beloved Brittany to join the Cybelle Planète team as Project Manager for the Cybelle Méditerranée program. Its missions are to develop the network of the program and to contribute to a better knowledge of the Cybelle Mediterranean program by the general public, so that more data is collected for a better knowledge of cetaceans of the Mediterranean. Eco-guide on the Cybelle Méditerranée ship for eco-volunteering missions dedicated to cetaceans and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea, Margaux holds a Masters in Marine Biology. So welcome Margaux and have a good trip to our Cybelle Association!


A dedicated sailboat

Finally, the Cetaceans and Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Mission has a dedicated sailboat: Avocet of Ryme, specially equipped for offshore navigation. The Avocet of Ryme is a unique epoxy wood (Mustang 45) boat, built by the famous Mustang Yachts shipyards in the Isle of Wight, England. She is a magnificent sailboat with character, a good sailor, with a particular silhouette that allows her to go upwind easily. Fully equipped with solar panels and wind turbines, this sailboat has good energy autonomy which allows the crew to go off in peace in search of animals. In 2015, Avocet of Ryme sailed for 15 consecutive weeks, off the coasts of the Gulf of Lion, Provence, Corsica and Sardinia.   

New location!

The association moved in early November for premises better suited to the growing team. The offices will still be located in Villeneuve les Maguelone, between Montpellier and Sète.

New recruit, new boat, new premises… And many more to come!

A Cybelle App… to come

Today, entering your observations is possible via our website This implies recording, at sea, the information relating to the observation of an animal: species, number, time, GPS point, etc. Then, once on land, to enter it in an online form.

From spring 2016, you will be able to benefit from a Cybelle application for mobile devices which will allow you to directly report your observations at sea. With this modern tool, you will be guided in the identification of the animals you observe and in the entry of your observations. Simplified use, hopefully for more data!


Thanks to our partner MAVA for their support!

For those who do not use a smartphone, paper files and online entry will not be deleted.

Currently, the whole team is actively working on this project. We will keep you informed of the progress made on the subject.

Econav network

We are committed to your side for the respect of nature and our environment, and we want to promote eco-responsible practices among users of the sea.

With this in mind, Cybelle Planète is a member of ECONAV, a Breton association which aims to develop eco-navigation. Econav aims to bring together all the stakeholders in the sea involved in reducing environmental impacts around the issue of responsible navigation. Econav offers various guides and practical sheets to inform you about the different practices and actions that you can take on a daily basis to make your way of sailing more respectful of the environment.

If you are also keen to get more involved in this regard on your own vessel, we urge you to visit the Econav website.

Things are happening in Participatory Sciences!

Marine Protected Areas Conference, Brest, October 2015

Cybelle Planète was present in Brest at the beginning of October for the third National Colloquium of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). The latter brought together all MPA stakeholders and some associations working in the field of marine environment protection, such as Cybelle Planète. A workshop on participatory science opened the debate and made it possible to discuss the challenges of setting up such programs, which, let us remember, are essential for advancing science and knowledge!

Workshop GDEGeM, Marseille, December 2015

At the beginning of December, a Workshop on the GDEGeM program, a scientific project in which you participate through the Cybelle Méditerranée program, will take place in Marseille.

Bottlenose Dolphin Study and Management in the Mediterranean (GDEGeM) is a collaborative project bringing together the actors involved in the study and conservation of the Bottlenose Dolphin in the Mediterranean. The objective is to better understand the ecology and distribution of the Bottlenose Dolphin, and to propose management and protection measures adapted to this emblematic species. The project began in 2013 and will end in 2016. Cybelle Planète participates in the program by collecting information at sea on the Grand Dauphin, in particular during eco-volunteering expeditions and also thanks to the contributions of boaters.

The Workshop will last two days, during which scientists will present and discuss their work and where exhibitions and stands will be open to the public. On this occasion, Cybelle Planète will be present and will have a stand with all the information relating to the Cybelle Méditerranée program.

More info on this project.

And your data? ...

Your data, for 10 years now, has been relayed to scientists from EcoOcéan Institut invested in various research programs, such as GDEGeM, ImpactCet, (and many others…).

Cybelle Méditerranée also works directly on its database, which you feed with the wealth of your observations. This is done in partnership with a team from the CNRS in Montpellier, but also through networking.

Cybelle Planète is part of the CisStats group which brings together participatory science programs of statisticians). The next working meeting will take place on November 19 in Avignon, and we will participate.

Cybelle Planète has been involved for 2 years in a Research Group (GDR), the GDR PARCS (Participatory Action Research & Citizen Sciences), created in 2013. The latter brings together a network of actors in participatory sciences and researchers for a common work on participatory science and research. To do this, the members of the GDR Parcs "work collectively to improve participatory techniques and to disseminate this approach", in order to fully integrate the citizens involved in such programs. The next meeting will be held in Montpellier on November 09. More informations .


Newsletter Cybelle eco-volunteering

In this newsletter:

  • Exceptional opportunity in primary forest
  • More eco-volunteers for more elephants
  • Double your eco-volunteering experience in Thailand
  • Positive results for marine turtles in Thailand
  • Cetacean and biodiversity expedition in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Fund your mission by launching a fundraiser on the internet
  • Testimonials from ecovolunteers

Exceptional opportunity in primary forest

Amazonian forest in Peru

Amazonian Forest Mission PeruOctober / November 2015: Exceptional opening of a primary forest reserve area. The ecovolunteers present will be able to participate in the research that will take place there.

The main objective of the “Amazonian Forest in Peru” mission proposed by Cybelle Planète is to study the biodiversity and the regeneration capacity of the forest. The research takes place mainly in the Manu reserve, an area which has been exploited in the past and which now has the status of Nature Reserve, well known for its lush environment.

Still as part of its research activities, the project will explore in October and November a new area, in the middle of primary forest, practically untouched by any human impact. Scientists and ecovolunteers will, during this short period, collect information on animal and plant species, and their environment: butterflies, amphibians, birds, mammals, vegetation. The data thus collected will serve as a “zero point” for research on forest degradation and regeneration. This opportunity is a unique chance to explore one of the most diverse rainforest areas in the world.

Possible arrival dates: October 19 and November 16, 2015 (other dates are available throughout the year)

“Donation” mission (after tax deduction): 2 weeks € 546 - 4 weeks € 755

More Information

More eco-volunteers for more elephants

The elephant refuge in Thailand is growing

Elephant Refuge Mission Thailand

The elephant refuge in Thailand is increasing its capacity to a maximum of 28 eco-volunteers to take care of resident elephants.

The refuge has taken in 4 new elephants since the start of the year, and now houses a total of 15 elephants, including an 8 month old baby. The new arrivals required the addition of a 7 hectare enclosure reserved in particular for males when they are in a “musth” state and therefore particularly aggressive.

The financial contribution of ecovolunteers allows the refuge to develop new projects, an elephant hospital is currently in contrustion.

Recall that in Thailand, the population of wild elephants, estimated at less than 2000 individuals, is seriously endangered. Domesticated elephants (around 4000) are most often exploited in difficult living conditions. The Elephant Refuge is an oasis of peace for the few specimens collected. They will have the chance to live a good life as a pachyderm, thanks in particular to the eco-volunteers.

Date of participation: all year

“Donation” mission (after tax deduction): 165 € per week.

More Information

Double your eco-volunteering experience in Thailand

Combination of Wildlife and Elephant missions

 Mission Wildlife ThailandIn order to improve the field experience of ecovolunteers and to optimize their presence in the field, a special formula combining the Wild Fauna Refuge and Elephant Refuge missions is proposed. For a minimum of two weeks, this option allows ecovolunteers to take part in the care given to several wild species (macaques, gibbons, big cats, bears, etc.) and also to devote special time to elephants, a particularly endearing species.

Date of participation: all year


“Donation” mission (after tax deduction): 248 € for 1 week at the wildlife refuge and one week at the elephant refuge.

More Information


Positive results for marine turtles in Thailand

The 2015-2016 season starts in December

Mission turtles Thailand

After a busy 2014-2015 season, with 14 participating ecovolunteers from Cybelle Planète, 7 protected turtle spawns that arrived safely, 7 green turtles saved and released at sea, 86 turtles observed at sea… The 2015-2016 season begins December 05, 2015 for 3 months.

The ecovolunteers are involved in the various projects, in close collaboration with the local population: monitoring and protection of marine, freshwater or land turtles, monitoring of the seagrass, environmental education for village children, etc. In an island located 200 km north of Phuket, very little disturbed by tourism.

Date of participation: From December 05, 2015 to March 25, 2016

"Donation" mission (after tax deduction): 270 € for 2 weeks

More Information 

Cetacean and biodiversity expedition in the Mediterranean Sea

First 2015 balance

Mission Cetaceans Cybelle Planet

The sailing expeditions, organized every year by Cybelle Planète in the Mediterranean Sea, aim to study animal populations living at sea. In 2015, we were able to carry out 15 weeks of mission on the Avocet of Ryme sailboat. 92 eco-volunteers joined the Avocet crew, accompanied by one of the 5 volunteer eco-guides (Céline A., Céline J., Margaux, Caroline, and Stéphanie), and 1 of the two boat managers (Antoine and Jo). Before we can give you a more detailed assessment, here are a few figures the first results of this 2015 expedition: the Avocet of Ryme sailboat, between June 16 and September 29, 2015, crossed the path of 35 fin whales, 1 minke, 11 sperm whales, 460 blue and white dolphins, 138 unidentified dolphins, 8 risso dolphins, 184 pilot whales, and 2 bottlenose dolphins.

Add to this nearly 1000 sightings of shearwaters, more than 50 tuna hunts, 6 swordfish, 12 sea devils, and 2 sea turtles. Finally, around thirty “fried egg” jellyfish, a species endemic to the Mediterranean.


Cetacean whale mission

A beautiful demonstration of the richness of the Mediterranean Sea!

The animals were all counted, their behavior recorded in detail, and where possible, we photo-identified them. All scientific data is now analyzed by our scientific partners at EcoOcéan Institut. We will not fail to keep you informed of the results of this monitoring which has been carried out for 10 years now!

In the meantime you can read the logbooks of the ecovolunteers written for each of the 15 weeks of navigation.

The entire Cybelle Planète team would like to thank the eco-volunteers for their invaluable contribution to this program. Thank you also to the eco-guides and to the boat managers who led their boat in all conditions and 24 hours a day.

Soon the 2016 programs will be published, great news awaits you!

More Information

Fund your mission by launching a fundraiser on the internet

finance its eco-volunteering mission

Emilie's story

Emilie has set up a one-year eco-volunteering travel project based on the principle: 1 month, 1 country, 1 mission. To help her finance her project, she used Crowdfunding, via the HelloAsso site. Once her fundraising campaign started, she raised more than 1000 euros in one month. Thus, Emilie was able to leave and is currently following her journey. She has already carried out a first eco-volunteering mission within the Przewalski Horses reintroduction program in Mongolia. Her testimony tells us a lot about the personal enrichment she will have acquired at the end of her project: "I really enjoyed this experience and it corresponded perfectly to my expectations ... I realized on the spot that my mission had more meaning and value than I initially imagined. I am happy to have been able to help them, a little, in their long term project of reintroducing horses to the wild… ”

Hello Asso

How to start a fundraiser?

You too, just like Emilie, can use Crowdfunding to make your travel dream come true. Crowdfunding for a participatory trip! Cybelle Planète is listed on the HelloAsso collection site. From our dedicated page, select the Create a fundraising link, then follow the steps to create your page personalized to your image and your project and include photos and your motivations. Finally, pass the information through your networks and wait….

Each person who has made a donation of more than € 50 for your fundraising will receive, upon your return from a mission, a tax receipt *.

* giving right, for taxable persons, to a tax deduction of 66% of the amount of the donation within the limit of 20% of the taxable income (article 200 of the CGI).

Testimonials from ecovolunteers

Mission Otter Brazil Cybelle Planet

Audrey took part in the long-tailed otter study mission in Brazil in September 2015

“This trip exceeded my expectations. The scientists responsible for this mission are attentive and present with the ecovolunteer. The work is fun and the setting is incredible. The rooms and amenities made available to ecovolunteers (bathroom, kitchen) are clean and everything is done to make the ecovolunteer feel good….

What I remember: The discovery of eco-volunteering that I did not know. The discovery of an important problem in Brazil: the protection of endangered otters. More in-depth knowledge of Brazilian culture and exchange with the locals and scientists of the mission… ”

Learn more about the mission

USA Feline Sanctuary Mission

Christelle participated in the Sanctuary of Felines in the USA in August 2015

“… The change of scenery is total, the environment magnificent. Staying in the heart of a sanctuary has given me a lot more. The "feeding" of the felines is a great time, we can feed them pieces of meat through the bars using a long tongs .... there are few places where we can do that. Jim and Salvina are very welcoming and we are quickly empowered. They also organize small outings for us on the WE, and nice evenings! ...

What I retain : Confirmation that I would love to work alongside animals. And a total disconnection for my holidays! ... "


Mission Nicaragua turtles

Héloïse participated in the "sea turtles" mission in Nicaragua in July 2015

"... What I retain : This mission has given me a lot. I would say that first of all, spending 2 weeks in Nicaragua opened my eyes. In all Western countries we are truly "spoiled rotten" and yet most of us are seldom happy. In Nicaragua many are those who have only the minimum subsistence and still ... however their joy of life, generosity, and happiness radiates all the time. I hope I understood how you have to appreciate what you have.

My assets : I think I will pay a lot more attention to seas and oceans in general because I have realized how essential they are all over the world, whether for flora and fauna or for humans. "

Learn more about the mission

Mission Cetaceans Cybelle Planet

Sylviane participated in the cetaceans and biodiversity mission in France in July 2015

"... My expectations : After a second experience (Gulf of the Lion), I discovered a new and equally rewarding adventure in Pelagos. Discovery of my first whales (mother and teenager) superb emotion sequence. First and foremost, a very good overview from Céline on marine biodiversity in this area, fascinating! The magic of the sea and its inhabitants conquered me ..... and thank you to our skipper for allowing us to approach them, without disturbing them!

My advice : Go for it, it's unique and it combines the useful with the pleasant ... We learn a lot about the fragility of our mother nature ... and the fragility of our ecosystem! In addition, the encounters are beautiful (animals and crew). Live this experience, it enriches us and makes us aware .....

What I retain : Respect, solidarity, awareness of our fragility in the face of nature, and the desire to continue to make myself useful to defend life quite simply .....

My assets : Make those around me aware that if we do not respect nature, the earth, animals, people, we will be the next victims of an ecosystem that risks disappearing ..... So respect, civility and thank you Cybelle Planet ..... "

Learn more about the mission

Thank you to the ecovolunteers for these testimonials… ..