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Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy Inc

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80 Kestrel Court Kiawah Island SC 29455 USA


To provide for the identification, preservation, and appropriate management of the critical natural habitat needed to maintain a healthy, balanced, and diverse population of native flora and fauna on kiawah island, south carolina.


The organization currently maintains 28 properties and easements totaling over 345 acreas on the kiawah island, south carolina. It maintainas these properties and conservation easements for the expressed purpose of keeping the properties in their natural undeveloped state for perpetuity. The organization has stewardship responsibility for all conservation properties including the maintenance of a maritime forest demonstration on one outtfitted with educational signage about the island plant life. The organization's habitat improvement plan has an objective to consistently fosters the efforts of all kiawah island property owners in implementing and maintaining optimum habitat to support the future of our native wildlife. The organization, working in concert with other organizations on kiawah island, provides resources, landscaping tips, access to professionals and assessment forms to assist owners with this plan.

the organization conducts numerous research studies to educate the residents of kiawah island, south carolina as well as further its mission. Bobcat studythe kiawah conservancy, in partnership with the town of kiawah island, initiated the bobcat gps study in 2007. The study is ongoing and a total of 60 bobcats have been captured and fitted with gps collars (5 in 2007, 8 in 2008, 10 in 2009, 6 in 2010, 8 in 2011, 9 in 2012, 6 in 2013 and 8 in 2014). More than 30,000 individual bobcats locations have been obtained to date. As data is compiled, the conservancy is able to learn more about how bobcats move around the island and the types of habitats they prefer. By pinpointing specific areas or habitat types that are of vital importance to bobcats (especially for denning and daytime resting), the conservancy has the ability to enhance its land preservation planning on kiawah. The town also uses the gps data to update its bobcat management guidelines for the island. Bird banding and understory preservationbird banding and monitoringthe kiawah island banding station (kibs) is supported by the kiawah conservancy and operated by the town of kiawah island. Annual banding and monitoring efforts include:fall migration monitoringfall migration monitoring began in 2009 at the west end of kiawah island at the kibs. The station is located within scrub-shrub and high marsh habitat and bordered by the atlantic ocean and the kiawah river, creating a funnel for migratory birds. Currently, 20 mist nets are opperated by the town wildife biologist and four interns hired seasonally by the kiawah conservancy. The nets are opperated daily from mid-august through november. They are opened 30 minutes before sunrise and closed approximately six hours later. Winter bandingwinter banding began in 2010. During this banding season, up to 15 nets are operated every 10 days from december through march. The nets are opened 30 minutes before sunrise and closed approximately six hours later. Winter marsh sparrow bandingmarsh sparrow banding began during the winter of 2011-12 with the objective of determining habitat requirements, site fidelity, relative abundance and distribution of the species. The birds are flushed into mist nets at high tide roosts in the salt marsh. The target species are seaside sparrows, nelson's sparrows and saltmarsh sparrows. Painted bunting bandingpainted bunting banding began in the summer of 2011 with the objective to study their movements,distribution and site fidelity. Painted buntings readily come to feeders offering white millet and the birds are easily captured in a specially designed cage with a feeder placed inside. Banding occurs from may thorugh september at kiawah island's resident's homes.

the production, publication, and distribution of educational material and the ongoing maintenance of the organization's website; the purpose of which is to educate property owners, building contractors, architects, landscapers, etc. About the importance of preserving the natural environment of kiawah island. "naturally kiawah" is a semi-annual publication to the supporters of the organization. It communicates key initiatives, upcoming educational events, conservation and presevation education and other elements in support of the organization's mission. "landscaping for the legacy" is one of the organizations core publications. This publication is intended help residence to understand the island and how to best maintain its exceptional character. Resouces on lanscaping, understory maintenance, lagoon maintenance, beach and dune preservation, native plant identification and invasive species education.

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