Walk-through aviary advocates wildlife education

A new walk-through aviary was recently opened at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre by the Minister for Conservation, Hon. Maggie Barry.

The new 40-by-20 metre aviary allows native birds to fly freely alongside visitors, who enjoy seeing and learning about the birds in an environment designed to educate as well as provide live-in bird habitat.

Our landscape architects produced the development concept of the aviary, which was designed and designed by Fabric Structures Limited and built by Rigg zschokke Ltd. We also did the working drawings for the environment inside the aviary; designing the layout and types of planting, visitor areas, stream and paths to educate visitors about New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. The design includes interpretative signage that emphasises the importance of conservation by telling the story of species’ extinctions as well as explaining the conservation needs of surviving species. Plant species were selected to create a display of New Zealand’s distinctive divaricating plants as well as meeting the habitat requirements for a range of native bird types.

The new aviary enables visitors a better chance of seeing, close-up, rare and iconic bird species in an environment similar to the birds’ natural habitats. So far, whio, pateke, kakariki, kaka and korimako are resident. Tui and kereru will be introduced soon. It is hoped that breeding pairs of rare species in the aviary will raise chicks in the safe enclosure which can eventually be released into the wild as part of the wider Pukaha Mount Bruce forest restoration and breeding programmes.

30 June 2016