Wildlife FAQ

Are there armadillos on Kiawah Island?
Yes. Armadillos have expanded their range into our area beginning around 2018.  They can now be found on all parts of Kiawah Island.  Armadillos can cause minor landscape damage by rooting in yards and landscaped beds as they search for earthworms and other grubs but rarely cause significant issues. In fact, they can be quite beneficial in controlling insects and invertebrates that can cause problems for sod and other landscape plants.

Are there cougars (mountain lions, panthers) on Kiawah Island?
No. There has never been a confirmed sighting of a cougar on Kiawah Island. We receive quite a few reports of cougars each year, but none of these reports have ever been verified with photography, tracks, or scat.  Most likely, observers are seeing large bobcats or coyotes. In addition, most of these sightings occur at night when it is very difficult to judge size and details of the animal in question. The nearest free-ranging population of cougars is in the Florida Everglades.

I saw an alligator out of the water, what should I do?
Alligators bask almost daily on the edges of ponds to regulate their body temperature.  It is not necessary to report these types of alligator encounters.  If an alligator is seen in a roadway, driveway, or bike path, please call KICA Security 843-768-5566. 

How do I report an aggressive alligator?
If you encounter an alligator that you believe is aggressive, please call Town Hall 843-768-9166 during normal business hours or call KICA Security at all other times 843-768-5566. Biologists will investigate all reports and determine whether or not the alligator fits the definition of a “nuisance” alligator.  If it does, it will be removed in accordance with SCDNR protocols.  An alligator that is sunning along a pond edge in a yard is not a nuisance alligator.  

How many alligators live on Kiawah Island?
Town Biologists, in conjunction with KICA Lakes staff, conduct annual alligator surveys. Based on these surveys, we estimate there are 600-700 alligators on Kiawah Island and that the population is fairly stable.

How many deer live on Kiawah Island?
Town Biologists conduct biannual spotlight surveys for deer. Based on these surveys, we estimate there are 600-700 deer on Kiawah Island.

I found an injured bird, what should I do?
Injured birds on land should be reported to Town Hall 843-768-9166 during normal business hours or to Night Heron Park 843-768-6001.

I saw dead fish floating in a pond, what should I do?
If you see dead fish in a pond, please report it to the KICA Lakes Department 843-768-2315 on weekdays from 7am-3pm.  At all other times, please call KICA Security 843-768-5566.

I saw a raccoon out during the day, is it rabid?
Not likely.  Raccoons are considered nocturnal but will move about during daylight hours if food is scarce.  Many times, raccoons seen during daylight hours are females that are out foraging to feed their growing offspring.  They need to eat a lot to offset the demands of nursing and raising young.  Raccoons certainly do get sick, mainly from canine distemper, and these animals are typically very lethargic, have a crusty nose and eyes, and are in very poor body condition.  These animals should be reported to KICA Security 843-768-5566.

There is an abandoned fawn in my yard, what should I do?
Nothing. The fawn is not abandoned but has been intentionally left in that spot by the doe.  Fawns will lie quietly for hours until the doe returns to allow them to nurse.  Fawns are scent-free during their first few weeks of life which allows them to remain relatively safe from predators if they lie still.  The doe stays away to keep her scent and movements from drawing the attention of predators.  If you encounter a fawn, do not approach or touch it.  Any interaction with humans greatly increases the chance of the fawn being killed or injured.

Are bobcats a threat to people?
No.  Bobcats on Kiawah Island are very visible and at times seem to show little concern for the presence of people.  Despite this, they do not pose a real threat to humans.  There are occasional reports of bobcat-human incidents but these almost always involve special circumstances, i.e. a turkey hunter hiding at the base of a tree making turkey calls or a person intervening in an altercation between a bobcat and domestic pet.