Kiawah Island Digest August 2020 | Page 2

ISLAND WILDLIFE You Can Help Save Kiawah’s Bobcats Kiawah has long been a home for many of the Lowcountry’s wild creatures that have seen declines as the area’s population has increased, including the elusive bobcat. In fact, Kiawah is home to the longest, continuous GPS bobcat study in the world. In a blow to the island’s many bobcat lovers, as well as its ecosystem, biologists now estimate that fewer than ten bobcats remain on Kiawah, down from a historic population of 30-35. In late July, a toxicology report confirmed the cause of death for an adult male (Bobcat 550) that died in May was rodenticide poisoning. This means at least seven of Kiawah’s bobcats died in the last year as a result of rodenticide poisoning, and the town’s initial presumption that second-generation anticoagulant (SGA) rodenticides were having an impact on the bobcat population has proven true. Initially, town council planned to ban the use of these harmful chemicals on the island. However, the State of South Carolina prohibits the local regulation of pesticides. Since local regulations are not an option, we’re asking for your help to solve this problem. While island entities are working on a multi-faceted strategy to address this issue, here is how you can help immediately: ELIMINATE THE TOXIC FOURSOME Tell your pest control provider not to use secondgeneration anticoagulant rodenticides (SGAs) on your property. These include: A bobcat fitted with a tracking collar walks by the deck at The Sandcastle in 2017. Since then, the bobcat population has decreased significantly on the island. BE INFORMED Pest control companies are required to disclose the active ingredient in all pesticides they are using. Ask your pest control provider to provide in writing what they are using on your property. BECOME A BOBCAT GUARDIAN The Bobcat Guardian pledge is a voluntary commitment from residents, businesses and pest management providers to eliminate SGAs rodenticides on Kiawah. • Brodifacoum • Bromadiolone • Difenacoum • Difethialone If you do your own pest control, check the active ingredient on the label to make sure you are not using any of the active ingredients above. The town is inviting residents to pledge to never use SGAs on their property, either by informing their pest control provider to cease use or by not applying SGAs themselves. Pledge participants will be listed on www. alongside business partners and pest management providers who have committed to eliminating the use of SGAs on Kiawah. 2 | KIAWAH ISLAND DIGEST