Animal Release Center in the Tropical Atlantic Forest

Video and Photos


FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine was founded by the couple Martine Schmid-Fiorini and Pedro Schmid, both Swiss veterinarians, who worried about the fate of the wild animals coming from the illegal traffic 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. Thus, familiar with the necessary care and the requirements for the release of wild animals, they founded FreeWildlife Brazil Celine in the Atlantic Forest.

FWB C will primarily focus on the release of native birds and will monitor their progress after reintroduction. 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.

Volunteer Roles:
1) Eco-Volunteering
2) Website Developer
3) Photography and Producing Videos
4) Communications & Fundraising
5) Volunteer Coordinator

  • Help conserve the Atlantic Forest and, in turn, preserve natural habitats for wildlife in Brazil.
  • Help with the reintroduction of birds into the wild as part of a rehabilitation project.
  • Gain valuable, hands-on experience in wildlife conservation.
  • Gain a deeper insight into ecology, zoology, and biology throughout your time in the center.
  • Participate in numerous activities, which range from relaxing social events to exciting outdoor activities.

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Questions & Answers


based on 8 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Better Volunteering

Translated Review:
My name is Raphael Ribeiro Francisco, I am a student of veterinary medicine, I came to Celine to work as a volunteer in the wild animal monitoring project.
It was amazing to stay during these 2 months at the Betary Reservation. Live surrounded by nature, wake up listening to the birds singing and the Betary River following its flow.
The work environment is great, all the staff are extremely attentive and always willing to help in any situation.

Original Review:
Meu nome é Raphael Ribeiro Francisco, sou estudante de medicina veterinária, vim para o Celine para trabalhar como voluntario no projeto de monitoramento de animais silvestres.
Foi incrível a estadia durante esses 2 meses na Reserva Betary. Viver cercado pela natureza, acordar ouvindo os pássaros cantando e o Rio Betary seguindo seu fluxo.
O ambiente de trabalho é ótimo, todos os funcionários são extremamente atenciosos e sempre dispostos a ajudar em qualquer situação.

Yes, I recommend
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Amazing Experience!

Your search is over! If you are looking for somewhere to volunteer in South America and you love animals or science, then this is the place! I have been volunteering around South America with my husband for the last 5 months, and this has by far been the best place yet! There is such a variety of activities that we have been doing that it is never boring. We have monitored trap camera footage, observed birds, monitored ponds and trees, and collected fish and river data! It has been so incredible being able to help the research efforts and get to see the amazing biodiversity in the Atlantic Forest first hand! The accommodations were also incredibly comfortable, from private rooms with personal air-conditioning units, to a fully stocked kitchen and living area, it was really lovely! This is such a special place and I am really sad to be leaving, but it has been such an amazing experience that I will remember it forever! I would definitely recommend volunteering at the Betary Reserve! This place is truly unlike any I have ever seen before. On top of the beautiful destination, the amazing research, and the fun activities, this place is so well organized! That is one thing we have had some difficulties with at previous volunteer locations, is a lack of organization. So it has been such a breath of fresh air to have things lined out, planned ahead of time, and on schedule!

How can this program be improved?
Yes, I recommend
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A wealth of experience!

After finishing my masters in Aquatic Science I knew I wanted to work in Conservation. However, after applying for a few jobs in the Conservation Sector I realised my CV had some key skills missing for me to succeed. That’s why I signed up to be an Eco-Volunteer at the Betary Reserve and it has really paid off. As I come to the end of the 2 months I have spent here the array of skills I have built up is amazing. Learning how to monitor species of all kinds from Fish and Amphibians to Plants and Mushrooms, I have also gained confidence in these techniques from routine practise. I had the opportunity to develop a Pond Habitat Monitoring Programme, including a pond at Celine, as well and gained experience in how to lead volunteers. It would have been much more difficult to get this experience back home in the UK. There are endless opportunities here and if you have the time come and take advantage of them! I only wish I could stay longer, I am still in awe of the beauty of my surroundings every day and will miss having breakfast surrounded by hummingbirds and toucans when I am back in England!

Yes, I recommend
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2 months in the Atlantic rainforest!

I spent 2 months as an eco-volunteer at the Betary Reserve getting involved in a wide range of projects. Despite not having any biological background, while I was at the reserve I worked on projects such as fish inventory, habitat monitoring , mushroom and tree inventory, all of which gave me time to work outside and enjoy the beautiful Atlantic rainforest. I also spent time helping to sort through all of the spectacular footage they have of the local wildlife and activities. Through all this I was able to was still able to learn a lot about biological research and conservation.

On the weekends I had plenty of time to enjoy some of the local tourism activities, such as caving, waterfall hikes and visiting cananeia, which were great fun and provided more opportunities to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and wildlife.

Yes, I recommend

Habitat Monitoring and Conservation

My time working with Celine was spent setting up an aquatic habitat monitoring programme across sites based in the IP Bio research facility and at Celine. As there was currently no habitat monitoring in place, this gave me the ideal opportunity to gain new skills as well as help to make a difference with the conservation work that is being carried here in the Atlantic forest.

The location of the release center is amazing and was one of the things that has made my volunteer experience absolutely unforgettable. As well as the exciting new projects that you can get involved in, there are plenty of extra activities to enjoy at the weekends and after work. From caving to hiking and even the chance to get up close with wild dolphins, there is no chance of getting bored!

I would definitely recommend this volunteer opportunity to other people, both with a background in conservation and without as I feel like it is a very unique experience to get involved with. A huge than you to all the other volunteers and incredibly friendly staff at the reserve that made my experience so fantastic!

How can this program be improved?
The volunteer package could make clear the specific projects and timings of the projects being run at Celine so that volunteers can tailor their experiences to their interests more thoroughly.
Yes, I recommend
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Fantastic Volunteering Opportunity

I came to the Atlantic Forest after deciding to take a sabbatical from the business world before starting my Master’s at Oxford. I was determined to go to Brazil and decided that travelling without a purpose was not for me. I had heard about the Betary Reserve as my friend Imran is a volunteer coordinator. The project also appealed to me in its conservation and research aims.
When I arrived, I had no experience in biology, conservation or research. Still, I hit the ground running, soon having a number of projects to contribute towards. During my time at the Reserve I helped set up a course for volunteers, prepare volunteer presentations in addition to helping around the reserve around the research projects. It was validating to watch my efforts contribute to the crucial conservation and education aims of the organisation. My favourite research projects were the Fish Inventory, where I searched for Fish in the river on a hot sunny day, the Frog Night Search, where we looked for Frogs (you guessed it) at night to gauge the biospheres biodiversity.
Outside of the Reserve I didn’t lack things to do either. I arrived on the weekend of the town’s anniversary and had a reggae concert to attend pretty soon after. Still, the best party was definitely Carnival. We all decided to go to Cananeia (a beach paradise, 2.5 hours away from the reserve) for a day at the beach, dolphin and crab watching, before heading to town for an amazing seafood dinner and the main event: Samba schools parading through town. I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I have had so far.

Yes, I recommend
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FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine in The Atlantic Forest

Volunteering for FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine is something I could not have imagined. And I mean that in all the best ways. The welcome was warm and informative at the same time and my six-week-stay in the volunteer house couldn't have been better. During the day I was working as a video producer, putting my editing skills to good use. There already is an immense archive of footage made by the great biologists and previous volunteers on site and images caught with camera traps in the forest. The beautiful tropical plants and animals only make you want to add your own sightings to the film stock. With these images I was able to make some video's for the website and the youtube-channel (you should check it out, it gives a good idea of what life and volunteering here is all about). In the evenings and during the weekends you had time to take part in group activities or you could just chill. The surrounding area has a lot to offer: caves to explore and rivers to swim in. The forest in itself is amazing and has a diversity that is unmatched anywhere on the planet. It was delightful to actually experience this wonder of nature and take part in the effort of conserving it.

Yes, I recommend
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Although my stay at the institute has been short, I have been able to enjoy myself a lot and learn more about research and conservation of the environment. I highly recommend this volunteering to meet different species of animals and mushrooms, as well as to live with people from different countries. I definitely think that this experience has helped me grow in various aspects. Living in the institute was very comfortable and I have a lot of fun working with all the volunteers.

How can this program be improved?
Yes, I recommend

About FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine

FreeWildlifeBrazil Celine was founded by the couple Martine Schmid-Fiorini and Pedro Schmid, both Swiss veterinarians, who worried about the fate of the wild animals coming from the illegal traffic and seized by local authorities. In an improvised...