Mick and Louise Cooper are the owners of Wombat Hill, a property located approximately 35km southwest of Hobart. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary used for wildlife rehabilitation and agriculture (two cows and a small alpaca herd), and it is Mick and Louise’s intent to revegetate the riparian area and plant shelterbelts and wildlife corridors to encourage and protect wildlife. Louise is a registered wildlife carer with the Tasmanian government, and Wombat Hill has been inspected and approved for the soft release of wombats. The property is additionally a member of Land for Wildlife.
The sanctuary covers 3.41 hectares, with remnant riparian vegetation along 250 metres of river frontage including large eucalypts. Formerly an apple orchard, Wombat Hill is predominantly pasture bordering a small permanent river and wildlife reserve, which has been fenced off for three years and is undergoing natural regeneration. Mick and Louise have controlled several weed species.
Wildlife species for which Wombat Hill is known to provide habitat include Tasmanian native hens (Tribonyx mortierii), black currawongs (Strepera fuliginosa), Tasmanian pademelons (Thylogale billardierii), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), Bennett’s wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), brush tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecular), bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus), eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii), spotted-tail quolls (Dasyurus maculatus), wedgetail eagles (Aquila audax), sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), yellow-tailed black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus), kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae) forest ravens (Corvus tasmanicus), superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus), and a variety of Tasmanian robins (Melanodryas vittata, Petroica rodinogaster, P. phoenicea, P. multicolor).
This sanctuary is featured in Wildlife Lands 16!
Realising we needed a better area to cater for wombats after several years of caring for orphaned wildlife, we moved from
the Tasman Peninsular to our current home of Wombat Hill in the Huon Valley six years ago.
One boundary fronts 250 metres of Crabtree Rivulet (a tributary of Mountain River flowing to the Huon) with shaded banks and permanent water, the riparian wet eucalypt woodland is in great condition. It features some large gums and a good mix of understorey plants, fallen timber, woody debris and bark, creating diverse wildlife habitat. Species include resident platypus in the river, echidnas, Bennett’s wallabies, pademelons, brushtail possums, bandicoots, snakes, fairy wrens, masked owls, currawongs, and scarlet robins which return each year. Pastured areas provide wildlife grazing and foraging opportunities, and ongoing plantings of home grown seedlings have had a good start thanks to tree guards. We also have a small herd of alpacas and two cows (hand raised from week old calves), as well as our three year old maremma sheepdog Charlie. He gets on well with the alpacas and wildlife, but cats domestic and feral are a different story.
The last few weeks have been quite busy and we’re both a bit short of sleep having taken on Mary, a 65 gram brushtail possum who needs feeding every 3.5 hours. A beautiful little lady with attitude plus (but she does a good snuggle) and eyes just starting to open. Retirement is not quite what I expected.
We heard of the Wildlife Land Trust through our good friends and dedicated wildlife carers Jude and Sacha of Wicked Wildlife Sanctuary, and membership has allowed us to meet other likeminded people such as Graham McLean of Base Camp Tasmania. Graham lives at Glenfern (which is not that far from here if you are a crow) and has helped us with wombat releases. WLT membership has also prompted us to introduce ourselves to other local property owners, several of whom have shown interest in joining the WLT.