Makay Mission – 2017

Contribute to the financing of a scientific exploration mission in the

Makay Massif – Madagascar

Here a year, April 2016, I discovered, traversed and explored a region at the same time isolated, rich in a unique biodiversity, still relatively preserved from anthropic pressures and little known Makay Massif.

This trip to the end of the world, as an eco-volunteer and entomologist, with the teams of Naturevolution, allowed me to confirm the scientific interest to study this region more deeply to act in favour of its preservation. During his exploration, I carried out work to collect insects (entomofauna) in order to participate in the biodiversity inventory.

From July 22 to August 12, 2017, I participate in the large-scale scientific exploration mission led by Evrard Wendenbaum, founder of the association Naturevolution and a group of students from the Natural History Museum of Paris : La Société des Jeunes Explorateurs.

For more information on the Makay Massif and last year’s trip, follow these links: Makay Mission-2016; Report 1 Report 2.

You can also find my testimonial on Naturevolution.

Mission objective

The objective of this mission is twofold: 1) carry out a biodiversity inventory ; 2) collect biological and geological data that will provide the knowledge and scientific evidence of the exceptional and unique character of this region, from the Malagasy authorities so that preservation and conservation measures /strong> are undertaken. Thanks to previous missions led by Naturevolution, such as the one in 2011 ( video excerpt below), the Makay Massif is now a protected area.

The mission, pluridisciplinary, is composed of many specialists : botany, ichthyology, mammalogy, ornithology, geology… and entomology, for which I am responsible (lire this link)

Entomological activities will consist of:

  • Explorer des sites et des écosystèmes peu ou pas étudiés présentant un fort intérêt scientifique comme la canopée, les mares temporaires et isolées, les souterrains (humides et secs) ou encore les grotte à chauve-souris.
  • Collect a number of specimens from various families characteristic of the different habitats visited. Comments: withdrawals will be limited and reasoned to preserve the balance and integrity of populations that may sometimes be very restricted
  • Identify specimens and classify them by order, family and subfamily for a more precise determination with specialists on return from mission (this work requires specific expertise and equipment, this cannot be done on site)
    caption id=”attachment_3280″ align=”alignright” width=”210″] Capture of an Odonate and photo taken for later determination (Source : © B. GILLES)[/caption]
  • Conditioning collections: specimens will be placed in tubes with alcohol to ensure a good state of preservation, and referenced in a database indicating the GPS coordinates, the name of the collector, the habitat and the day of collection. Comments: large and easily identifiable specimens such as Odonata (dragonflies) or Lepidoptera (butterflies) will be studied only on photos in order to limit sampling
  • Inventor and enhance : all data collected during the mission (number of species, distribution, diversity rate, ecology…) will allow to complete the inventory and the knowledge of the entomofauna, scientifically valorizable: publications, possible description of new species ; buried communication (videos, reports, exhibition, popularization articles…) ; and by demonstrating the unique biological wealth of the Massif to the Malagasy authorities

For more information on insect collection methodologies and their packaging: read these articles.

How to contribute ?

You have an interest in environmental and biodiversity preservation issues, you are wondering how to contribute to your scale : this mission is an opportunity to participate in one of the greatest challenges and issues of the 21st century <

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For this, you can make a donation in several ways:

  1. Don défiscalisable (66%) : visit the website of ProjetsPlusActions (for people paying taxes in France only)
  2. Don direct : Paypal (benoit_gilles@hotmail.fr)
  3. Donate materials or other : for this, contact me directly at this address passion-entomologie@hotmail.fr

The mission will take place from 22 July to 12 August 2017 (3 weeks). The total cost is 3 000€.

They are distributed as follows:

  • 1 950€ : logistics, materials, on-site travel
  • 1 100€ : plane (A/R)
Who am I?

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I have always been passionate about the living world and especially entomology, and since my adolescence I have wanted to study insects and explore the richest ecosystems on the planet. My Master Research in entomology obtained in 2008 at the University of Tours (Research Institute on Insect Biology – IRBI), I have carried out several scientific missions in France and internationally : CIRAD-La Réunion, MNHN-Paris, Station des Nourgaues-Guyane française, STRI-Panama (for more information, find my CV).

Currently I am in charge of Research and Development in entomology within a Start-up whose objective is to valorize by the insect the organic waste of vegetable origin (called bio-waste) in animal proteins (insects) intended for fish food.

Thank you for your contribution, your interest in my passion and my commitment to the preservation of the environment and its biodiversity.

You will of course be informed of the follow-up of the mission by the regular publication of reports.

Album photos de la mission 2016
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Recommendation of book and DVD on this theme

Makay : Discovering the latest Eden (Evrard Wendenbaum – Editions de La Martinière – 173 pages – 17 November 2011)

Makay, les aventuriers du monde perdu[Blu-ray 3D] (Evrard Wendenbaum & Pierre Stine – 98mn – 14 December 2011)



Benoît GILLES
Chargé de recherche – Entomologiste chez Cycle Farms