Kiawah Island Digest May eDigest - Page 2

2 | KIAWAH ISLAND DIGEST Alligators cross roads more frequently during the May and June mating season, risking more accidental human interaction. Alligator Safety FAQs How common are dog/alligator incidents on Kiawah Island? Uncommon. Over the last 20 years, Kiawah has averaged about one incident every three years. Most incidents have occurred when dogs accidentally, or unknowingly, escaped from their owners and entered ponds or approached a pond edge. inherent fear of people. All reports of nuisance alligators are evaluated by island biologists. How common are human/alligator incidents on Kiawah? Alligators do not view people as prey and incidents are extremely rare. There have been three minor incidents on Kiawah Island in the last 40 years. Typically, incidents like these can be easily avoided if safety rules are followed. If an alligator approaches me while fishing or crabbing, what should I do? Use caution and remove your lines from the water. If an alligator is hooked on your line, cut the line immediately. Report the incident to the Town of Kiawah Island (843- 768-9166) during normal business hours or to KICA Security (843-768-5566) at all other times. How many alligators live on Kiawah Island? Approximately 600 alligators live on Kiawah. Kiawah’s alligator population is allowed to fluctuate naturally and has remained stable over the last 10 years. It is safe to assume that there is at least one alligator, usually more, in every body of water on the island. If the alligator meets the nuisance alligator criteria, it is captured and killed using “nuisance” tags issued by SCDNR. There is no other harvest or removal of alligators on Kiawah Island. Why are alligators important to Kiawah Island? Alligators have been on earth for almost 100 million years and are a vital part of the delicate Kiawah Island ecosystem. Young alligators provide food for many species of birds and mammals, larger alligators help control populations of prey species, and abandoned “gator holes” or wallows provide critical freshwater habitat for countless species of What is a nuisance alligator? A nuisance alligator is an individual alligator that has animals. Their presence is an indicator of the health of the become a significant public safety risk. This typically island’s lakes and ponds and the island itself. occurs when an alligator has been fed and has lost its REPORT ALLIGATOR INTERACTIONS TO THE TOWN OF KIAWAH ISLAND AT 843-768-9166 OR TO KICA AT 843-768-5566.