Kiawah Island Alligator Behavior and Safety Research Project
The Kiawah Conservancy, in partnership with TOKI, KICA, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and Clemson University began an alligator study in 2015, focusing primarily on alligator health and physiology. The Clemson study is continuing during 2016-2017 and approximately 40 alligators will be captured. This new TOKI/KICA study will take advantage of these capture efforts to obtain additional information on alligators.
All captured alligators will be fitted with visible, numbered tags so that they can be easily identified in the field by biologists, residents, and visitors. Two visual tags (blue for males, yellow for females) will be placed on each alligator, one behind the head and one on the tail. Capture efforts will focus on areas where nuisance alligators are the most prevalent, typically near popular fishing and crabbing locations. Several recent studies have suggested that capturing and handling alligators increases their fear of people, thereby, reducing human/alligator conflicts. Observations of tagged animals will allow biologists to document changes in alligator behavior after capture.