FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine is an animal release center situated in the Atlantic Forest. We combat the hunting, trafficking and illegal capture of wild animals and offer them a chance at freedom!
This is a role supported by both IPBio (Biodiversity Research Institute) and Celine (Animal Release Center). It contains a range of activities conducted by a group. The majority of these tasks are field activities so this role is ideal for volunteers who like to be outside and enjoy physical activity. Here are some of the main areas that the volunteer will participate in:
- Tree Inventory: studying the biodiversity of different areas of the reserve to assess forest well-being. We attempt to understand the distribution of fruit tree species. Why? Imagine you are releasing a parrot which only eats a certain fruit that only grows between June and July. Therefore, you should only release this parrot during these months to ensure it has available food, thereby increasing the chances of a successful release. Moreover, these birds are tagged and monitored after their reintroduction to the wild to ensure they are adapting well and so identifying fruit trees in the area increases the likelihood of finding the birds.
- Garden Day: helping out in the gardening, construction, and maintenance of the grounds of the reserve. This is hard but rewarding work!
- Mushroom inventory: searching for new species of mushrooms in order to identify them, photograph them, and collect their spore prints (which are like a mushroom's fingerprint). In addition, we conduct night-time searches to find bioluminescent mushrooms which light up the floor in an avatar-like fashion.
- Tadpole research: collecting tadpoles that will be used in various projects
- Bird inventory: exploring the forest strategically in order to inventory species of birds on the reserve as well as understand their distribution patterns and their seasonality.
- Mammal monitoring: sorting data from cameras filming the forest 24/7. Volunteers are tasked with watching the footage, organizing photos of mammals, and identifying the species.
- Fish inventory: studying the biodiversity of fish in order to support the birds Celine releases and bring them back a tasty snack.
As you can imagine, it rains quite often in the rainforest. If we stopped working every time it rained, we would never get any work done; so, usually, we need to persevere. However, sometimes it rains too much - when it does, volunteers sit in the comfort of the reserve and help us in other areas such as:
- Literature research: conducting online research to help us improve or set up new projects
- Communication: assisting us in expanding our network via social media or find university contacts that we can develop partnerships
- Creative Projects: creating beautiful birdhouses or art for the volunteer house
2) Photography and Producing Videos
Are you interested in or experienced with photography or videography? Create short documentaries about the birds we release, thereby exposing the illegal trade of animals as well as recounting the process of their rescue and release back into the wild at Celine. Create videos to promote the volunteer program by interviewing volunteers and filming their weekend activities. In addition, you can expand our wildlife database of photos and videos on flora and fauna of the Atlantic forest.
3) Volunteer Coordinator
IPBio and Celine currently have 2 full-time staff members dedicated to the management of the volunteer program; however, with the recent increase in capacity, we are looking for an individual who can support them in organizing the daily tasks of volunteers. The individual should be able to learn about the various projects quickly and have leadership qualities. Furthermore, this is a position of authority and, thus, one must accept the responsibility that comes with this role.
4) Communications and Fundraising
Volunteers can help us by raising international awareness about our organization and the illegal trade of birds by improving our website and social media, seeking partners for our organization, developing presentations and pamphlets, and writing grants to fund our projects and purchase equipment.
5) Website Developer
We are looking for a web developer to improve our website by adding new content and features, enhancing our aesthetics, and organizing its structure.
Volunteers will stay at the Darwin Guest House, situated on the reserve itself, which accommodates up to 12 people in 8 rooms. Two rooms are collective rooms and 6 rooms are single rooms. Individual rooms have a desk with a chair.
Volunteers pay in reais (the currency of Brazil). There is a charge of 550 reais a week for accommodation at the reserve (at January 2018 exchange rate this is about $170 a week - however this does change due to currency fluctuations).
The volunteer house has 3 bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook.
Volunteers will purchase their own food and cook for themselves, however, they can also use our organic herb patch.
Not all projects occur at the same time as various projects are seasonal.
FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine was founded by Martine Schmid-Fiorini and Pedro Schmid, both Swiss veterinarians who worried about the fate of wild animals coming from illegal trafficking and seized by local authorities. In an improvised installation at their residence in Iporanga, they began to care for wild animals, enabling their return to nature. Their activities attracted attention and gained recognition in the region by the local population as well as by environmental authorities. Thus, familiar with the necessary care and the requirements for the release of wild animals, they founded FreeWildlife Brazil Celine in the Atlantic Forest.
FreeWildlife Brazil Celine primarily focuses on the release of native birds and monitors their progress after reintroduction. The Release Center, with a management area of 4 hectares, is situated in the municipality of Iporanga on the Betary Reserve. We have partnered with IPBio (Biodiversity Research Institute), an NGO that also works on the Betary Reserve with whom we cooperate closely, to develop a joint volunteer program.
- Protect the Atlantic forest, a biome that houses many endemic and endangered species.
- Release wild animals in their natural environment using appropriate technologies to rehabilitate and monitor them
- Offer the chance of freedom to illegally captured animals
- Combat the hunting, trafficking, and illegal capture of wild animals
- Promote a more sustainable relationship between the local community and the environment in which they live
Admiration - For the exuberance of the Atlantic forest and its biodiversity.
Compassion - With living things and wildlife. We believe in respect for animals and their habitat.
Protection - Willingness to help protect the great heritage of biodiversity.