James Fitzgerald is the owner of Hammer’s Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, a property located approximately 50km northeast of Cooma, NSW. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary, and used for wildlife rehabilitation and education. It is James’ intention to create a legal trust to ensure the sanctuary is financially secure and safe for native wildlife into the future, as well as being open to local wildlife groups as both a pre-release and release site for Australian wildlife species. James is also the animal coordinator for Looking After Our Kosciuszko Orphans (LAOKO) wildlife rescue group.
The sanctuary covers 312 hectares of mostly untouched bushland, with eucalypt trees, native grasses and bushes being the predominant vegetation types. Wildlife species known to be present includes bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), common wallaroos (Macropus robustus), swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor), red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), spotted-tailed quolls (Dasyurus maculatus), Rosenberg’s goannas (Varanus rosenbergi), lace monitors (Varanus varius) and a wide range of native birds.
There is also a koala chew tree, the location of which has been recorded by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The tree was found by the NPWS koala recovery coordinator Chris Allen when he visited the sanctuary in November 2010.