Two awards for Pukaha Mount Bruce

Two awards for Pukaha Mount Bruce Two awards for Pukaha Mount Bruce Two awards for Pukaha Mount Bruce Two awards for Pukaha Mount Bruce Two awards for Pukaha Mount Bruce Two awards for Pukaha Mount Bruce

Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre received two awards from the Australasian Zoo and Aquarium Association. Close to 200 delegates from 12 countries gathered for the conference, which was hosted by Wellington Zoo.

Pukaha was awarded the small-scale exhibit award for its walk-through free-flight aviary which was opened in May 2016. Boffa Miskell landscape architect Helen Baggaley produced the concept drawings for the aviary and Steve Dunn followed the project through the build phase.

Native birds move freely within the 40 by 20 metre forested space alongside visitors. 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. Currently, the aviary houses eight different wildlife species and is home to active breeding programmes for both Pateke and Whio. It is also host to many protected flora including the native kaka beak.

The aviary sits within the wider 942-hectare Pukaha Mount Bruce Reserve, just north of Masterton.

Dr. Helen Blackie was engaged by Pukaha Mount Bruce Board to develop a long term restoration plan for the remnant native forest immediately adjacent to the Wildlife Centre.  Helen has an ongoing role in advising the Board on its strategic objectives, and is working alongside Pukaha on the development of new, innovative technologies to monitor the reserve’s biodiversity (including CritterPic, a new camera tool for lizards and invertebrates).

Helen says, “The restoration work at Pukaha has made significant achievements in forest recovery and community engagement. In terms of protection of our indigenous flora and fauna, they’ve achieved some fantastic results to date,  including greatly reduced pest numbers and several successful re-introductions of bird species to the reserve.”

Pukaha’s second award was for the Insitu conservation breeding programme for the North Island kokako. The successful kokako breeding programme at Pukaha now sees over 30 pairs of Kokako and another eight individual birds residing in the Pukaha forest.

Pukaha General Manager, Emily Court says. “It is one thing to know Pukaha provides wonderful experiences for visitors and contributes to positive outcomes for native New Zealand wildlife, but to be awarded for those efforts by industry peers is fantastic. Pukaha has made some significant progress in conservation over the years and I would like to acknowledge the vision and passion of our board and staff. Pukaha is such a taonga and we are committed to continuing this work.”

For further information please contact Dr. Helen Blackie, Helen Baggaley or Steve Dunn

12 June 2018