Study and Conservation of Otter 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 natural environment, and to take care of otters collected and kept in captivity. Alongside an experienced team, you will participate in the various research tasks carried out within the project in a splendid natural environment.

DUREE : 2 minimum weeks

DATES : all year

ACTIVITY : Sanctuary and Full Nature (trekking and canoeing)

SPECIES : Long-tailed otter, neotropical otter

WORK LANGUAGE : English (minimum level A1)


INVOLVEMENT : 5 days a week, 8 hours per day

PUBLIC : any public over 18 years, individuals, eco-solidarity holidays, students,



On a beautiful island in southern Brazil, well known for its lush vegetation, you participate in census field Otters in Long Tail, a species from South America. You will also help in the care and study of animals saved and kept in captivity. Field research requires kayaking, hiking and trekking.

The project has been studying and protecting otters for more than 35 years, more than 1000 ecovolunteers have come to help researchers in their activities. The main objective of the project is the acquisition of a better knowledge of river otters for their preservation in Brazil. The main activity is the study of otters (search for traces, observations ...) on the island but also on other sites in Brazil when necessary.

The project is also a recognized sanctuary for otters and all related animals. It hosts orphan animals that often can not be released. The sanctuary makes it possible to conduct behavioral studies on otters and thus better understand them. In the center you will have to take care of animals in captivities: feeding, cleaning, enrichment of their environment, behavioral observations ...

You can join the project for a period ranging from two weeks to several months. The work also includes a social aspect. The project is involved in several educational social projects related to the environment for children and teachers on the island and on the continent.

By participating in this mission, you will have the opportunity to live, alongside researchers, an outstanding experience within a thriving nature and know a little better the long-tailed otters, this magnificent animal that leaves no one indifferent!

Location / Habitat

The project is located in the south of the island of Santa Catarina, about 1000 km from Rio de Janeiro in the Atlantic Ocean. You work in a protected area, the Parque de Lagoa Peri (near Lake Peri) at 25 km south of Florianopolis, the capital of the state of Catarina. Other study sites, inside and outside of the island will be visited regularly.
The local culture is Açoriana. The Portuguese-Brazilian culture back to the first Portuguese sailors and is still very traditional. The local population speaks Portuguese, Spanish and sometimes English or German. The latter is very friendly and welcoming to visitors.


Otters live in very different habitats: from rivers, streams and freshwater lakes to estuaries, lagoons, mangroves and coastal islands. Lake Peri is the main site of the project, it is located in a natural park 30 km from Fiorianopolis. Lake Peri, like other study sites is very important for breeding otters. Its waters are rich in fish and shellfish.

The climate is humid, with an average annual rainfall of 1406 mm and an average temperature of 20 °, with an average of 24 ° C in January and 16 ° C in July.

For more information on local weather conditions


Long-tailed otter, neotropical otter, Is a semi-aquatic animal, curious, shy and alert, which is especially active in the dusk. The otter is at the top of the food pyramid. An adult weighs around 20 kg, has an oblong body, supple and muscular, a round head with small ears, short neck and webbed feet. These features make the otter an animal of mobility with low heat loss. Otters can stay long under water.

Long-tailed otter is a fragile species threatened due to the destruction of their habitats, pollution, hunting, and predation by other species such as wild dogs.

The center has permissions for the care of 4 species: the long-tailed otter, but the crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus), Marten gray-headed (tayra), Common or red coati coati (Nasua nasua).

Other species you can observe during your mission, there are many birds (eg toucans), mammals such as opossums, armadillos, fisherwomen bats, flying foxes, margays the agoetis, dolphins and in July, whales (southern right whales) and reptiles such as snakes, lizards and alligators.

Involvement ecovolunteer

The project follows a specific program, you know in advance your activities for the week. These include trekking in the Atlantic Forest and through the dunes, river rafting, canoeing and kayaking, and night observations. The choice of activities largely depends on the weather. Your field work are to identify and observe the nests, to study the behavior and feeding habits of otters. Since it is difficult to see otters in the wild, most of the observations are made from traces (nests, feces).

The project also harbors captive otters, who were injured and rescued from certain death and could no longer readapt to the wild, or born in captivity. Cleaning and feeding otters is part of daily activities.

Although most of your work is done in the field, laboratory work will also be on the program.

The project is based at Lake Peri, you can also visit the other study sites, always accompanied by an experienced member of staff.


The project accepts interns under an agreement with their university / school. There is no minimum period required but it is strongly recommended to carry out an internship of a minimum of 1 month.

Students participating in the long-term project can be involved in special projects and / or may themselves propose a subject of study that will be conducted in partnership with their academic supervisor and the local team.

The project has all the facilities useful for research activities (laboratory and field equipment). Trainees do not benefit from special rates except those offered above (students or long term).

Applications must be made at least 6 months in advance and will be accepted on a case by case, depending on availability and the candidate's profile.

Internship applications must be made to Cybelle PlanèteWe will help you in your efforts.

Requirements and constraints

To participate in this mission:

  • You must be able to walk for an hour, and kayak for 2 at 4 hours. Breaks can be easily arranged if necessary.
  • You must be willing to collaborate with researchers.
  • You must have at least 18 years
  • The sense of humor and a spirit of collaboration is required.

Before you register:

  • It is important to read the detailed documentation to download.
  • You will need to return the medical fitness form (attached to the detailed documentation) completed and signed by you and your attending physician.
  • To receive a discount, you must provide proof.

Language (s) used (s)

English, Spanish or Portuguese. The minimum required level of English is A1 : view details you self-assess

Conditions for minors

Children over 12 years, accompanied by their parent (s) (s) are welcome. This will, however, be accepted by the staff of the project, based on current research.

The project points out that the center is not an environment with all the security for children. The children will stay with their parents who will be responsible for their actions. The fee for minors is the same as for adults.

For participants minors, parents must provide a disclaimer to Cybelle Planet.


The work program is set each week. The first day a staff member will meet you at the airport and bring you to the base where you are welcomed and where we introduce you to the center and staff. By the second day, framed by the staff, you will start your activities, shared the care of animals in captivity and field trips.


You are accommodated within the project, in a renovated mill which offers comfortable rooms, with showers, a common room with TV and library, and a kitchen. Accommodation is included in your mission expenses. The accommodation was completely renovated in 2019.

During excursions you may need to camp on the other study sites. The project will provide the necessary equipment.

You must see yourself in the order and cleanliness of your room.

Meals are not included in your mission expenses and you must take care of your shopping and the preparation of your meals in the kitchen provided. You can get everything you need at the nearby markets; you will also find local or seafood restaurants in the surrounding area.


The project hosts up 8 ecovolunteers both.


Your participation is possible all year round for a minimum duration of 2 weeks. You can suggest your own dates (subject to staff approval).

The project follows a monthly program, so to allow you to discover all the activities we recommend that you register for at least one month. Registrations for a shorter duration are nevertheless welcome, the minimum duration is two weeks. The maximum duration is 90 days.


Due to the pandemic, Cybelle Planète has set up specific conditions for participation. Please consult our conditions of participation before signing up for a mission.

See information related to Covid-19

Travel Information

You go your own way in Florianopolis, in the region of Santa Catarina, Brazil. You are greeted at the airport or at the bus stop by a project manager and leads to the main search site (transfer to / is free).


Your eco-volunteering mission involves your voluntary participation in the project as well as your biodiversity donation. For each mission, the amount of the Biodiversity Donation is calculated according to the needs of the project and the time you will spend there. 70% of your donation is donated to the hosting project, it will largely be used to cover its material and personnel needs for its sustainability, and also to cover the hosting costs of eco-volunteers. learn more about Don Biodiversity

The costs of the ecovolunteers' missions consist of : your biodiversity donation and your membership in the mission, and non-tax deductible costs (ex: insurance, additional heating costs, over-classification of your accommodation - if offered)

Compensation for the impact of your trip

Cybelle planet pledges to reduceimpact of long-haul flights on the environment. In order to offset greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of your trip, Cybelle Planète has set up specific measures :

  • We no longer accept entries of less than two weeks involving long-haul travel.
  • Flat-rate contribution of 200 € to a territorial and carbon compensation fund for missions of less than 3 weeks.

We consider that a stay of at least 3 weeks, during which you have a positive action for local biodiversity (ex: eco-volunteering mission), and where you adopt a responsible mode of travel, partially offsets your emissions at the regional level. 

Amount of Don Biodiversity

  • 2 weeks of participation: 892 €
  • 3 weeks of participation: 975 
  • per additional week: 283 € 

tax deduction : For individuals, participation entitles you to a tax deduction of 66%. So a donation of 892 € will only cost you 303 €.

For companies, the participation of your employees entitles you to a tax deduction of 60%. So a donation of 892 € will only cost you 957 €.

Annual fee

Cybelle Planète is a French law association 1901, ecovolunteer stays are reserved for members who are members of their annual subscription of 50 €. This membership automatically gives you access to insurance (including liability, repatriation, medical expenses). Membership in Cybelle Planète is subject to a tax receipt. Learn more about memberships

Your budget

The hosting project supports:

  • accommodation,
  • supervision by members of the project,
  • your transfer from the airport A / R,

You remain at your expense:

  • your trip to Brazil,
  • the food,
  • expenses incurred (drinks, restaurant, ....) that remain at your expense,
  • your complementary travel insurance (mandatory), including a Cancellation, Air / Train Delay, Baggage, Interruption of Stay.

Travel arrangements

You must organize your own trip to the project: transport, visa, vaccinations if necessary, ....

You will find on our website information concerning visas.

Cybelle Planet can arrange for you to book your airline ticketsThis service is optional.

Conditions of participation

The general conditions of participation in eco-volunteering mission from Cybelle Planet are available online.

Commitment ecovolunteer

Before committing yourself as a Volunteer, you must have read and accepted the charter of ecovolunteers.


In addition to the insurance included in your membership, you must take out cancellation insurance, loss or damage to luggage, and flight delay. Cybelle Planète will offer you insurance during your pre-registration or you can subscribe one by yourself. A certificate of insurance will be required before departure. To learn more about insurance

ethical commitments Cybelle Planète

The Cybelle Planet associationcommitted to the ecovolunteering charter. We have always chosen sharing, equity and solidarity for all our actions.

Tax deduction

Participation in our eco-volunteering mission is reserved for our "support" members.

Ecovolunteers pay Cybelle Planète a Biodiversity Donation in addition to their commitment in the field. 

Only the Biodiversity Gift and membership entitles you to a tax deduction (For companies or persons subject to corporation tax or income tax in France).

Medical fitness form

Your registration can not be validated unless we have received your medical fitness form completed and signed by you and your attending physician.

In order to avoid possible difficulties, we ask you to describe to us, as honestly as possible, your physical and emotional state.
Regardless of the medical situation, all projects are designed to accept as many participants as possible. For this reason, they remain attentive and are very understanding of the various health problems a candidate may have. All solutions are considered to enable the candidate to participate in the project, regardless of his or her state of health, and to the extent possible.
The consequences of misleading and / or omitted medical declarations can be very restrictive for the entire team involved in the mission, and in some cases dangerous (missions on the high seas, in very isolated sites, etc.). So, Any false declaration, omission or false information may be sanctioned by the immediate and definitive exclusion of the participant At its own expense and upon the exclusive and unilateral decision of the project. 

Download the form for a francophone mission

Download the form for an English speaking mission


An ECOVOLONTAIRE T-shirt is offered for any registration to an ecovolunteer mission.

Note that no resumption or exchange is possible, we invite you to consult the description and the size guide .

Testimonials for this mission ecovolunteers