New Alligator Research

Kiawah Island is home to a healthy population of alligators, numbering close to 700 animals, and in addition to its 1,400 permanent residents also plays host to more than 20,000 visitors per year. People live, work, and recreate in close contact with alligators everyday on Kiawah. Given this situation, interaction between people and alligators is inevitable. The goal of both the Town of Kiawah Island (TOKI) and the Community Association (KICA) is that this interaction be as safe as possible. For this reason, TOKI and KICA have developed a research program to better understand the behavior and movements of Kiawah’s alligators in an effort to increase awareness and safety across the island.  Learn More About the American Alligator



If you observe a tagged alligator, please report the sighting to Town Biologists.  The simplest way is to use the Town’s online application.  Simply open the map, zoom to the sighting location, click the small alligator icon in the upper right hand corner, and follow the on-screen instructions.  You can also report a sighting by emailing Jim Jordan with details of the sighting (Date, Time, Location, Behavior, Tag Number and Color).

VHF Transmitters


In addition to visual tags, a subset of 12 alligators have been fitted with VHF transmitters. These 12 animals will be located several times per month using a VHF receiver. Locations will be collected by both TOKI and KICA biologists. Location data will help biologists begin to understand movement patterns, home range size, and post-capture response of alligators on the island.

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