Wildlife studies previously conducted by UGA on Kiawah Island revealed that the deer on the island were healthy, reproductively successful, and had adapted well to human activity. Further, bobcats preyed on the island’s deer and tolerated human activity, but greater movements and mortality rates observed for bobcats in the more-developed versus less-developed areas of the island might have reflected differences in levels of human activity.
This research project continues investigations of the influence of bobcats on fawn survival rates, examines changes in bobcat ecology that may have occurred since 2000 with continued residential development, and examines gray fox ecology on Kiawah Island. It will specifically better integrate previous wildlife research and the understanding of predator-prey interactions on Kiawah Island, as affected by humans and their developments. Specific objectives are to (1) monitor area-specific and cause-specific deer fawn mortality; (2) investigate bobcat prey use in relation to population trends of alternate prey species; (3) compare current and previous data on Kiawah’s bobcat ecology (home range size, habitat use, reproduction, movements, mortality); (4) investigate gray fox ecology (home range size, habitat use, reproduction, movements, mortality); and (5) continue to monitor deer, bobcat, and gray fox population trends island-wide.