Living With Wildlife

Stay out of bird nesting areas and dune environments along the beach

Kiawah’s dune system and open beach areas are valuable nesting habitat for a variety of bird species, including least terns, black simmers, Wilson’s plovers, American Oystercatchers, common ground doves, and many others. Please stay out of the dunes and avoid bird nesting areas that are marked with signage.

Walk around, not through, groups of shorebirds on the beach

Shorebirds are a very common sight along the Kiawah beachfront where they actively forage and rest. Many shorebird species migrate great distances and stop on Kiawah’s beach to feed and rest in preparation for migration. Disturbing these birds by walking through them can prevent them from being able to prepare for migration resulting in their deaths. Please help protect our shorebirds by taking the time to walk around groups of shorebirds and by keeping dogs from chasing them.

Do not approach, feed or harass alligators

Alligators may seem slow and lethargic but they are capable of great speed over short distances. Never approach within 60 feet of an alligator. Do not intentionally feed alligators or allow them to consume crab or fishing bait. An alligator that has been fed quickly loses his fear of humans and can be very aggressive towards people. t is against state and local law to feed or entice alligators with food. If convicted, offending individuals can receive a $200 fine and up to 30 days in prison. It is also against the law to harass or harm an alligator in any way. This includes throwing rocks, sticks, or any object at an alligator. If convicted, fines can be up to $5,000 and 1 year in prison. Anyone witnessing unlawful actions against alligators should report them to the Kiawah Island Community Association (KICA) Security immediately (843-768-5566).

Drive cautiously on the island especially during dawn and dusk hours

Our island wildlife species are most active during dawn, dusk, and nighttime hours. Please use caution as you drive around the island. Collisions with vehicles are also the leading cause of death for our island bobcats. Help protect all our wildlife by being vigilant and slowing down when driving during these peak wildlife movement times.

Don’t litter

Kiawah island is a beautiful and clean place and we want to keep it that way! Litter not only makes the island look bad but it hurts our environment as well. Plastic products, fishing line, and crabbing supplies are responsible for injury and death to thousands of fish and birds each year. Keeping Kiawah clean only takes a small amount of effort from each individual. Please do you part in ensuring the persisting beauty and cleanliness of Kiawah island.
Recycle – Residents can recycle paper, glass, plastic, and steel cans by placing these items in their personal recycle bins for weekly pick up. Recycle bins are available at Town Hall (768-9166). Visitors can recycle these items with the addition of cardboard by taking them to the recycling centers located in the Municipal Center Parking Lot and on Sora Rail Road.