August 06, 2021
Kiawah Island Bobcat and Rodenticide Study
The Town of Kiawah Island is excited to announce a new research project that will begin this winter, collaborating with Clemson University’s Wildlife and Fisheries Department and Town Biologists. This Ph.D. research project will take place over four years and will include three years of intensive fieldwork. The project’s overall goal is to better understand the health and future viability of Kiawah’s bobcats and other wildlife, quantify the impacts from rodenticides, and develop long-term solutions.
The project has five primary objectives as listed below:
- Monitor second-generation anticoagulant (SGA) rodenticide concentrations in bobcats and patterns in bobcat behavior and survival over the next three years on Kiawah.
- Assess historical patterns in bobcat behavior and demography on Kiawah Island over time using existing data.
- Assess patterns in bobcat diet.
- Continue monitoring SGA concentrations in small carnivores other than bobcats over the next three years on Kiawah Island.
- Quantify rodent species distribution/density and SGA concentrations on Kiawah Island.
The total anticipated cost of this study is $965,450. Significant funding has already been secured from Clemson’s Public Service and Agricultural Department (PSA) and Clemson’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), totaling $280,000. Other funding commitments include $125,000 from the Town and $120,000 from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Additional funding is anticipated from the pest control industry, other Kiawah Island entities, and conservation organizations.
The research team from Clemson, including Meghan Keating (Ph.D. student), Dr. Greg Jachowski, Dr. Greg Yarrow, and Dr. Thomas Rainwater, made a presentation to Town Council at their August 3 meeting. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new project in the coming months.