Wellington Cable Car Bird Strike Prevention Project

Name of case study

Wellington Cable Car Bird Strike Prevention Project

Location

 Leonard Cockayne Centre, Kelburn Terminal, Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

Year

2022

Scale

Building/single site

Area / size

Unknown

NbS employed

Façade shaping and designing for bird safety

Type of NbS

 Engineered interventions (not using vegetation)

Initiator

Urban Wildlife Trust; Wellington Cable Car

Funder

Wellington Cable Car; Wellington Zoo Local Conservation Grant

Budget

$NZ30,000

Design group

FeatherFriendly; Sign Squad (installation)

Kererū after bird strike. The most common bird hitting the building before installation. Photo by Urban Wildlife Trust.
Climate change benefits
  • Biodiversity loss
Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Empowerment/equality
Ecological benefits
  • Genetic resources
  • Habitat provision
  • Species maintenance
Wellington Cable Car, 2018. Photo by Thomas.
Completed façade. Photo by Urban Wildlife Trust.

Summary of case study

The Wellington Cable Car stands as a prominent landmark in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Capital City. Situated at and near the Wellington Botanic Garden and Zealandia Ecosanctuary, its summit terminal building offers panoramic views. 

The terminal’s design, featuring expansive glass windows, was intended to provide visitors with an immersive experience of the view. However, this means the building blends into the landscape, making it perilous for passing birds. Native species, including kererū, kakariki, korimako, and ruru, have perished colliding with the windows, with over a hundred documented casualties.

The Urban Wildlife Trust, in collaboration with the Wellington Cable Car drew inspiration from successful initiatives abroad and installed Feather Friendly® Window Markers. By installing these markers, the Cable Car reduced bird-strike fatalities and set a precedent for bird-safe building practices and responsible architecture and environmental stewardship in Aotearoa New Zealand as the first building to deliberately include such bird-safe features.

The initiative champions conservation efforts and fosters a sense of empowerment within the community to address environmental challenges and work towards a more harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.

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Completed façade. Photo by Urban Wildlife Trust
Installation. Photo by Urban Wildlife Trust.

Further resources:

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