Bobcat Preservation Efforts

Kiawah’s historically healthy bobcat population has declined dramatically over the last two years. The use of second-generation anticoagulant (SGAs) rodenticides is the primary contributing factor and is responsible for at least seven bobcat deaths in the last year. Biologists estimate Kiawah has ten or fewer bobcats on the island at this time, down from a historic population of 30-35. Kiawah’s bobcat population may never recover unless action is taken now.

Kiawah’s Bobcat Guardians

Featured here are Kiawah’s Bobcat Guardians which consist of residents, pest management providers, and business partners who have committed to protecting our bobcats by ceasing the use of SGAs.

Resident Bobcat Guardians

  • Katherine Abrams
  • Phillip Adams
  • Jeffrey Adams & Susan Hunter
  • Kelly & Mark Addy
  • Steve & Pris Adler
  • Susan Aliota
  • Annette Allen & John Shearburn
  • Jeff & Lisa Alter
  • Richard & Laura Ames
  • Steve & Connie Andersen
  • Carol & Kelvin Antill
  • Paul & Kim Anuszkiewicz
  • Fred & Mary Jo Armbrust
  • Craig & Vivian Asche
  • David Bacon
  • Barb Bagnall
  • Dan & Fran Bailey
  • Pat & Chubby Baker
  • Jeanne & Ted Ball
  • The Balogh Family
  • Jim & Marlisa Bannister
  • Sarah & Larry Barden
  • Lynn & Miles Barefoot
  • Julie Barkley
  • Rod Barlow
  • Peggy & Tim Barnes
  • Cindy & Shon Barnett
  • Jack Barnett
  • Howard & Donna Barrey
  • Bill Beaman
  • Gordon & Kathy Bell
  • Betti & George Bell
  • Charlie & Mary Ann Bello
  • Carey & Doug Benham
  • Jackie & Steve Bennett
  • Dr. James Benson
  • David H. & Tamie K. Bergstrom
  • Carolyn Bernard
  • James Bethmann
  • Kathy Bixler
  • Norman Black
  • Melissa Blackburn
  • Tom & Dawn Blackman
  • Adam & Michele Blackwood
  • Bill & Marilyn Blizard
  • David L. Blum
  • Ann Bogard
  • Lon & Deborah Bouknight
  • David & JoAnne Bowers
  • Frances Boyd
  • Ron & Mary Braam
  • Kelly Bragg
  • C. Lynwood Bramlett
  • Thomas & Eva Brandt
  • Katherine & Jimmy Brooks
  • Sandra Brooks
  • Don & Dot Brookshire
  • Dr. William & Zjane Brown
  • Ted & Virginia Brush
  • Lois A Bryant
  • Andy & Maryann Bugas
  • Pamela & Joe Buongiorno
  • Kay Burroughs
  • Bruce & Bonnie Butler
  • Kristen & Duane Byers
  • Matt Cabell
  • Susan Calkins
  • Marc & Allie Camens
  • Richard Cammerer
  • Robert Cammerer
  • Anne Campanella
  • Pam Campbell
  • Michael & Marie Capellas
  • Mr. & Mrs A J Capelli
  • Lynn Carlton
  • Lee Carpenter
  • Linda Carrington
  • Kathleen & Steven Carroll
  • Frank & Kathy Cassidy
  • Charlen & Jim Cathcart
  • Carolyn Cauttrell
  • Susan & Chris Cauttrell
  • Kaitlin Cavallaro
  • Lisa Celona
  • Virginia & Shawn Cepeda
  • Lori Chandler
  • John Chapel
  • Clive & Jojo Chaplin
  • Mike & Doreen
  • Robert & Lois Cheney
  • Jim & Judy Chitwood
  • James & Leigh Chuber
  • Mike & Heather Cicco
  • Dicki Clapp
  • John & Judy Clark
  • Christian & Jennifer Clark
  • Michael Clawson
  • Jeanne M Clement
  • Cline Family
  • James Clinger
  • George & Sally Coates
  • Leigh & Ty Cobb
  • Pamela Cohen
  • Jeffrey Cohen
  • Joan Collar & Glenn Brown
  • Jeff Collins
  • Sandy Collins
  • Shawn & Diane Comella
  • Maryanne Connelly
  • Ginny & Jay Connelly
  • John & Linda Connolly
  • Cork & Sue Corcoran
  • Anthony & Joan Cossell
  • Gerard & Elizabeth Costelo
  • Ross & Melissa Cowan
  • Joy Cox
  • Kathleen Cox
  • Stacy & Adam Coyle
  • Peter & Kay Crnkovich
  • Justin & Jennifer Cronk
  • Eric & Tracy Cross
  • Kara & Neal Crowell
  • Ron & Nancy Curran
  • Jack Curtis
  • Leila Cuthbertson
  • M & R Dabruzzi
  • Chris & Betsy Dahlstrom
  • Matthew Daly
  • Rocco & Marie D’Ambrosio
  • Greg & Ruth Darus
  • Bill & Karen Davis
  • Mike & Jackie Davis
  • Alex & Kathy de Jonge
  • Jeffrey DeDay
  • Vince & Denice Degenhart
  • Shari Ann Del Do, MD
  • Susan & Mike Delaney
  • Jennifer DeRochi
  • Bob & Sandy Devine
  • Henry & Linda DeWitt
  • Michael & Toula DiGiovanni
  • Antonio Dillon
  • Ben & Lisa Doctor
  • Eduard Dubbers-Albrecht
  • Ashley Dudek
  • Walt & Irene Duhaime
  • Carroll Dunn
  • David & Sandy DuPuy
  • Rosie & Paul Dussault
  • Maggie Eisemann
  • Michele & Matt Elkes
  • Jane & Joe Ellis
  • Barbara & John England
  • Ennis Family
  • Doug & Sheila Epp
  • Kay & Mark Ethrifge
  • Eubank Family
  • Cindy & Tom Evans
  • Linda Fein
  • Paula Feldman
  • Cindy Feldman
  • Felice Feldman
  • Avril H. Fenwick
  • Ann & Gordon Ferguson
  • Robert & Linda Fetch
  • Janet Fetter
  • David Allen & Morriah Fickes
  • Veronika M. Fischer
  • Kathy & Stephen Fish
  • Kathy & Dick Fishburn
  • Robyn & Steve Fisher
  • John Fitzgerald & Ann Moriarty
  • Rick & Diane Flaherty
  • Susan & Tom Flanagan
  • David & Lisa Floyd
  • Amanda Flynn
  • Mary & Peter Foss
  • Joane Fox
  • Frattaroli Family
  • Brian Fredericks & Kathleen Sweet
  • Elisabeth Freidberg
  • Alison & Gerry Frey
  • Thomas & Jackie Fuller
  • Sally & Brad Gabosch
  • Beth & Tom Gadsden
  • Pete & Cherie Gallagher
  • Joseph & Karen Gallagher
  • Richard & Patricia Gatens
  • Lynne & Will Gates
  • Connie & Rick Gentzler
  • Lisa & Robert Gfeller
  • Joyce & Gerry Gherlein
  • Donald & Maureen Gibson
  • Cathy & Jim Gidcumb
  • Jim & Cookie Gilliam
  • Arthur Glenn
  • Megan Goeller
  • Susan Goodman
  • Gale Goodwin
  • Deborah & John Goodwin
  • Heidi & Barry Gordon
  • Linda Goulding
  • Peter & Livingston Grant
  • Mary S Graves
  • Denise Graybill-Donohoe & Steve Donohoe
  • Mark & Paula Griesbaum
  • Dave & Elaine Griffin
  • Maggie & Wayne Grzecki
  • Diane & Ed Gulyas
  • MIke & Eli Guzniczak
  • Carol & Ron Hacker
  • Steve & CJ
  • Brad & Leigh Ann Haertel
  • Bob & Kathy Halayko
  • Halberstadt Family
  • Michael & Nikki Haley
  • James Hall
  • Lessie Hammonds
  • SueEllen & Morris Hanan
  • Rus & Dixie Hapgood
  • Margaret D Harris
  • John & Jenna Harris
  • Kristina Harsanyi
  • Jane Hart
  • Todd & Dellann Harvey
  • Ashley & Brian Harward
  • Kathryn & Bruce Haupt
  • Terry & Joe Healy
  • Kathryn V Heikes
  • Agnes Heisley
  • Ron & Nancy Henderson
  • Paul C Hennessy
  • Robert Hill
  • Becky & Paul Hilstad
  • Linda & Bob Hines
  • Rebecca & Eric Hinkle
  • Joe & Sue Hitselberger
  • Roland & Mary Hoffman
  • Adele Hoffmeyer
  • Steve & Joan Hogrefe
  • Ryan & Nancy Hollenbeck
  • Wendy Holschuh
  • Nancy & David Hooker
  • Leo & Bethann Horey
  • Randy & Karen Horn
  • Paul H Hough
  • Mary Houston & Charles Cater
  • Steve & Joyce Howe
  • Bill & Barbara Howell
  • Jacob Huck
  • Bill & Tracy Hull
  • The Humphrey Family
  • Nancy & Fred Hunter
  • Bill Carney & Carol Hurley
  • Shauneen & Bill Hutchinson
  • Valeria Fekete Hutchinson
  • Joe & Lois Idleman
  • Douglas & Kristin Ix
  • David & Holly Jacobstein
  • Tom & Lois James
  • Katie O’Connor & Don James
  • Jenkins Family Ltd Ptnshp
  • The John Family
  • Darrell & Carol Johnson
  • Christine & David Joyner
  • John & Christa Karen
  • Wanda Karia
  • Jerald & Terri Katz Kasimov
  • Charis & Jeff Keitelman
  • Bonnie & Jerry Kelly
  • Andrea Johnson Kilkenny
  • Jeff & Beckett Kimble
  • Stephen Kimbrough
  • Deborah Kinard
  • Sylvia & John Kinney
  • Dennis & Vicki Klein
  • James & Karen Klingler
  • Jane Klopfer
  • Laura & Joe Klunk
  • Jack & Retta Koch
  • Kathy & Jack Kopnisky
  • Scott & Eleanor Koruba
  • Jack & Katie Kotz
  • Satch & Becky Krantz
  • Jim & Kimball Kraus
  • Larry & Melanie Kristinik
  • Wendy & Tom Kulick
  • Nancy & Leonard Kupersmith
  • John & Ardath Labriola
  • Stan & Kim Laight
  • The Lamendolas
  • Richard & LeeAnne Lan
  • Louise Lancaster
  • Allison Lang
  • Frank & Ginny Larence
  • John & Bonnie Larson
  • Donna & Warren
  • Janet LeClair & John Bragg Jr.
  • Karen Lee
  • John & Lynda Leffler
  • Paul & Andrea Leiman
  • Jacques Lemoine
  • Amy & Jeff Lime
  • Charles & Joan Lipuma
  • Janet & Rod Little
  • Eric & Lisa Livingston
  • The Lockhart Family
  • Nancy Lohuis
  • John & Karen Lombardo
  • Karen Lucas & Matt & Leslie Barrett
  • O’Kieffe & Lundstrom Family
  • Peter & Dina Luther
  • John & Lynne Lyboldt
  • Iain & Andrea Mackay
  • Helen Maddux & Joseph Omlor
  • Karen Madoff
  • Jack & Marla Mahler
  • Paul Mahoney
  • Robert & Evelyn Manetta
  • Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Marino
  • John & Nima Marsh
  • Tina Marshall
  • Laura Maston
  • Ralph & Liz Mastrangelo
  • Greg & Danielle Maurer
  • Dr. Michelle Mayers
  • Paul & Elaine Mayeux
  • Richard Mc Cann & Jane Pannone
  • Brian & Mary Beth McAnaney
  • Kay McBryde
  • John & Barbara McCann
  • Janet McCauley
  • John & Joy McCleskey
  • Lynne & Tom McCone
  • Karen McCormack
  • Bear & Catherine McCrann
  • Dawn & Jim McDonald
  • Cassie & Mac McFarland
  • The McFee Family
  • Cary & Randy McGann
  • Tammy & Jerry McGee
  • Dr. Carl & Linda McHugh
  • Maura & Brad McIlvain
  • Mark McKeehan
  • Kit & John McMurray
  • Christopher McNamara
  • Bob & Betsy McQuade
  • Robert M Melchionni
  • Pamela Menefee
  • Marsh & Tiffany Merriman
  • Warren Mersereau
  • Diana & David Mezzanotte
  • Melinda & Timothy Michael
  • Anne Michael
  • Jim & Darlene Mieszala
  • Cathy Milless
  • Mark Mimnaugh
  • Robert Minkhorst
  • Mitchell/Dunn
  • Lisa Mittnacht
  • John Moffitt
  • Elizabeth & William Money
  • Patti & Max Montoya
  • Ted & Mary Moote
  • David & Kathy Morgan
  • Lynn & Art Morgenstern
  • Moriarty/Fitzgerald
  • Cheryl & Dave Morley
  • Debora Morton
  • Joanne Morton
  • Gerd & Helen Mueller
  • Karla T. Mugler
  • Brenda & Gerry Mullane
  • Catherine Murphy
  • David & Anette Musich
  • Cyndie Mynatt
  • Grace Mynatt
  • Anne & Greg Napps
  • Jean Nasca
  • Arnold & Lori Natali
  • Mary J Kraaij
  • Dave & Mary-Margaret Neal
  • Joanne & Garry Nelson
  • Scott & Connie Nelson
  • Connie Sims Nelson
  • Mary F Nevin
  • Wendy & Joe Nevins
  • Rhonda Newell
  • Melissa Newhall
  • Mr. & Mrs. Scott Nicholson
  • Eniko Nicolais
  • Bart & Pat Niemeyer
  • Helen Norman
  • Robin Norris
  • Thomas Nudo
  • Susan Oakley & Ross Crawford
  • Robert & Jo-Ann Oeters
  • Robert & Rose Marie Omahne
  • Nora O’Mara
  • The Orosz Family
  • Holly & Tonn Ostergard
  • Bob & Paula Ott
  • Christie Owens
  • Ron & Deb Oye
  • Barbara & Michael Pagnotta
  • Mike & Kerry Pardoll
  • Scott & Colleen Parker
  • Steve & Kathy Parks
  • Kimberly & Lee Parrish
  • John & Sally Parrott
  • John & Vicki Parry
  • Lauren & Helen Patch
  • Bill & Cindy Perry
  • Michael Perskin & Caralynn Sandorf
  • Mariellen & Bob Perugini
  • Deb Petersen
  • Helen & Howard Pharr
  • Jim & Chris Pirouz
  • George & Betsy Plattenburg
  • Sandy & Tom Plunkett
  • Joann Poindexter
  • Pamela A A Pollitt
  • Rick & Bette Popillo
  • John & Kaycee Poston
  • Ann & Steve Potter
  • Christopher & Elizabeth Power
  • Nancy & Dan Prickett
  • Bill & Laurie Prophater
  • Gene Hutchinson & Julie Provenson
  • Frank X Prudent
  • Kevin & Lisa Pugh
  • Pulito Family
  • Cathy Pumphrey
  • Mark & Barbara Pyfer
  • Becky & Doug Pyle
  • Tom Quantrille
  • Ellen & Jamie Raboy
  • Jen Radziwon
  • Lowell & Dee Rausch
  • Carol Scherb Ray
  • Jeff Resnick
  • Kim A Reynolds
  • David & Deborah Richmand
  • Edna & Al Roberds
  • Stacy & Eric Robinson
  • Elizabeth Robinson
  • Mark & Donna Romer
  • Sue & Marty Rose
  • Patti Ross
  • Tobi & Robert Rozen
  • Jerry Rubino
  • Claudia Ruedrich
  • Andy & Susie Rush
  • Larry & Pat Rutkowski
  • Mary Ryan
  • Robert & Jamie Ryan
  • Sara Sacco
  • Phillip & Kristen Saccogna
  • Lynne & Steve Sager
  • Laura & Klaus Said
  • Stephanie & Tom Sand
  • Neil & Cecile Savad
  • Rick Scarborough
  • Mike & Jennifer Schachet
  • David & Kim Schaeffer
  • Michael Rogan & Susan Schaffer
  • Walter Schlauch
  • Maribeth Schmersal
  • Elizabeth Schultz & Michael Frenza
  • Deborah Scott
  • David & Natalie Secrest
  • Karen Sedmak
  • Frank & Denise Seidelmann
  • Tom & Terri Sewell
  • Michael & Susan T Shalosky
  • Tony & Helen Shearer
  • The Shehab Family
  • Dr. Debra R. Sheldon
  • Tobe & Anne Sherrill
  • Jim & Ann Shevlin
  • Kenny & Doris Shuman
  • Judi Silverstein
  • Dr. & Mrs. Robert Simmons
  • Alan & Grace Sines
  • Lisa Mascolo & Todd Singleton
  • Mark & Elizabeth Sinsky
  • Barbara Sirianni
  • Marilyn Skolds
  • Tamar H. Small
  • Wylie & Stuart Small
  • Kimber & Scott Smith
  • Jennifer & Jeff Smith
  • Sean Smith
  • David Smith
  • Reggie & Mike Sommer
  • Anne-Lie & Jeff Sparks
  • Jody Sperduto
  • Melissa Squarzini
  • Elisabeth St. John
  • Susan & Tom Stallings
  • Jeffrey & Cindy Standen
  • Janie Stanek
  • Jim & Gaye Stathis
  • John Stedman
  • The Steen Family
  • The Steinhilber Family
  • Brit & Kate Stenson
  • Gail Stewart
  • Mary Ellen & Joe Stocker
  • Kyle Stokien
  • Marilyn & John Stott
  • John & Gail Strauch
  • Anne Pence Strickland
  • Joan Strobel-McLean
  • Dr. Robert & Barb Struble
  • Chris & Bill Sudell
  • James Vincent Sullivan
  • Jim & Kay Surface
  • Cathy Surowiec
  • Joan Sussman
  • Joe & Kathy Sweeney
  • Laura & Winston Talbert
  • Steve & Eva Taylor
  • Brad & Jodi
  • Elizabeth Thomae
  • Sandy & David Thomas
  • Joe & Kristin Thompson
  • Jim & Cindy Thompson
  • Paul & Carol Tittel
  • Lynne & Edward Toland
  • David Toro & Sarah Janette
  • Judy & Bob Townsend
  • Ed & Leslee Traurig
  • Kathy & Joe Tronco
  • Paul Tucker
  • Robert & Christy F Turner
  • The Turner Family
  • Tara Smith Tyberg
  • Leigh & Barbara Tyler
  • Vikram & Ashwini Dravid
  • Laura & Greg VanDerwerker
  • Bruce & Janet Voelker
  • Janet & Mark Walker
  • Michael Walls
  • Joyce & Tom Walsh
  • Kitty Walter
  • Sally & John Walters
  • John & Cecily Ward
  • Rich & Chris Warner
  • John Watkins
  • Pamela Watson
  • Craig & Terry Weaver
  • Freddi & Mitch Weiner
  • Carol Ann Weiss
  • Mary Lou & David L Wertz
  • Arthur Wheeler
  • Chris & Theresa Widuch
  • Douglas & Catherine Wigdor
  • John & Amelia Wilkinson
  • Richard & Fran Williams
  • Carol & Woody Williams
  • Dwight & Cathy Williams
  • Sabrina Williams
  • Astrid Williams & Greg Martin
  • John & Lara Williamson
  • Angela & Bob Wills
  • D. Michael & Pam Wilson
  • Dr. & Mrs. Kevin Windsor
  • The Winter Family
  • Sue Wolahan
  • Jim & Barbaranne Wolf
  • Elizabeth Wood
  • Stephanie Wood
  • Desiree & Joseph Woody
  • Ted & Jacqueline Woolschlager
  • Robert E Wright
  • Yates & Vencill Family
  • Sandy Youngstrom
  • Susan & Jim Yuhas
  • Steve Zienowicz & Jeri Mearns
  • Rachael Zufall

Information & Resources

Our Bobcat Population 

Kiawah is world-renowned for its bobcat population, which historically was one of the healthiest, densest bobcat populations in the country.  Bobcats on Kiawah Island have been tracked annually using GPS collars since 2007 and this study is the longest continuous study on bobcats in the world.  Beginning in 2017, Town Biologists started seeing an increase in bobcat deaths on the island and a subsequent decrease in bobcat numbers. Since August 2019, seven bobcats (one of which was a female pregnant with 4 kittens) have died due to SGA toxicity or exposure.

Eliminate the Toxic Foursome

Tell your pest control provider not to use second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGAs) on your property. These include:

  • Brodifacoum
  • Bromadiolone
  • Difenacoum
  • Difethialone

Pest control companies are required to disclose the active ingredient in all pesticides they are using. Ask your pest control provider to provide in writing what they are using on your property. If you do your own pest control, check the active ingredient on the label to make sure you are not using any of the active ingredients above.

Rethink Your Control Strategy

Use Integrated Pest Management to address rodent problems:

  • Identify specific rodent problems and locations by doing a thorough survey of the property. Only take action if a problem exists. Seeing a rodent in your yard is not a rodent problem.
  • Use non-chemical methods of rodent control (eliminate food/water sources, exclude rodents from structures by sealing exterior holes and cracks, use traps).
  • Pesticides should only be used as a last resort for large infestations inside structures. The pesticide should only be applied for a short time (typically 10 days) and then stopped once the problem is resolved.

Know Pesticides – It’s All About Ingredients

If pesticides are necessary, first-generation anticoagulants (warfarin, chlorophacinone, and diphacinone) are slightly better than second-generation anticoagulants but still have secondary effects on wildlife and should not be used. The best option would be a product that uses bromethalin or cholecalciferol. While these products have significantly lower secondary effects on bobcats and other predators, they are still potentially toxic if consumed directly by pets and can only be used inside of a tamper-resistant bait station. Brand names of products containing these rodenticides are listed below:

  • Cholecalciferol – Terad3 Blox, d-Con Pro Bait Station Blocks
  • Bromethalin – Tomcat Bait Station Blocks, Victor Fast Kill Refillable Rat Bait Station

Federal law requires that all rodenticide packaging clearly display the active ingredient and instructions for use. Failure to follow the instructions on the label is a violation of state and federal law. Always check the label before using any rodenticide product.

Other Ways to Help

While Kiawah still has plenty of excellent bobcat habitat, it has less than it did ten years ago. This means that bobcats have to travel further and expand their home range size to meet their needs. Because bobcats are territorial, larger home range sizes mean fewer bobcats on the island. Also, increased travel by bobcats makes them more susceptible to vehicle collisions and other mortality events.

Residents can easily help replace their habitat by exchanging or adding native landscaping to their property that promotes bobcat habitat (Saw Palmettos, Yaupon Holly, Black Needlerush, Wax Myrtle, Saltmeadow Cordgrass, Little Bluestem, and Broomsedge) and let buffer areas grow back naturally. More information is available through the Town’s Grow Native initiative at www.grownativekiawah.com

Concerning Trends

Kiawah’s bobcat population may never recover unless action is taken now. Biologists estimate Kiawah has 10 or fewer bobcats on the island at this time, down from a historic population of 30-35.  If we continue to lose bobcats and don’t fix this problem immediately, bobcats likely won’t be able to successfully breed and produce viable offspring.  Even if the small number remaining do successfully produce offspring, they would be doing so in a genetic bottleneck. This effectively means that the resulting offspring and their offspring would be a product of inbreeding and would have diminished survival. This is one of the mechanisms that cause animal populations to become extinct.

It is a critical, time-sensitive issue that is having profound effects on the island and our residents. The decline of bobcat numbers has resulted in almost double the number of deer on the island.  This is causing more deer-car collisions, an increased risk of contracting Lyme Disease and other illnesses associated with deer, more damage to landscape shrubbery, and has forced the Town to implement a deer management program in our community for the first time in our history.

Regulation Information

The Town currently cannot regulate or prohibit the use of SGAs. In April, Town Council was prepared to pass an ordinance that would have done this. That action was challenged, and legal opinions since have confirmed that South Carolina law broadly prohibits municipalities from enacting local regulations to control pesticide use. The Town has not ruled out the possibility of challenging that law, but such a challenge will be costly, time-consuming, and in the meantime, the use of these chemicals would continue unabated. The Town and the Kiawah Conservancy have both petitioned the SC Department of Pesticide Regulation for a one-year temporary ban on the use of these chemicals in the Town.  The request is pending.

Update August 13, 2020 

The Clemson Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has denied the Town’s request for a temporary, one-year prohibition on second-generation anticoagulant (SGA) use on Kiawah Island. The temporary ban would have immediately removed these products from our ecosystem and mitigated any further damage to our bobcat population and other wildlife while our community works on a permanent solution to this issue.

The public announcement is provided here.

Department of Pesticide Regulation Letter