Wild Animals In South Carolina
More wild animals found in South Carolina include native arachnids such as pillbugs, ticks,centipedes, millipedes, harvestmen, scorpions, and pseudoscorpions. Other common insects are wasps, hornets, treehoppers, grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and beetles, including the Hercules beetle. The common and alligator snapping turtles are also found in South Carolina, and the black vulture and the turkey vulture feast on carrion, including the always plentiful roadkill. Amphibians include the seepage salamander, the marbled salamander, the southern zigzag salamander and the red-spotted newt.
Staying Safe Around Wild Cats In South Carolina
The only large cats in South Carolina live in captivity, and many municipalities ban ownership of exotic creatures such as mountain lions. Theres little concern over wild cat attacks, as bobcats are too small to pose a threat.
On rare occasions, a rabid wild cat may attack a person. Regardless of whether its aggressive or not, its crucial to follow these recommended safety precautions if you happen across a bobcat in South Carolina:
- Stay calm and slowly back away while facing the animal
- Spray water to repel it
- Make loud noises to scare off bobcats
- Contact animal services for aggressive bobcats or animals showing unusual behavior
Though its rare, bobcats can become a nuisance in residential areas. If bobcats are a concern near you, take these measures to protect your household:
- Contact animal control when you see bobcats in your neighborhood
- Keep small pets indoors and birds in their cages
- Clear away brush, bushes, and other potential covers for bobcats and rodents
- Use night lighting to keep bobcats away
- Remove potential food sources for bobcats and the pests they prey upon
- Install tall fences over 6 feet high to keep bobcats off your property
- Set up wire fencing around and over animal pens
If a bobcat attacks or bites you, immediately seek medical attention and contact animal control. In rare cases, animal services may have to euthanize a bobcat for safety.
Zoos In South Carolina
Some of the zoos in South Carolina include Charles Towne Landing, which recreates the conditions of Charleston when it was still an English settlement. Because of that, visitors can see bison, river otters, wood storks, and other wading birds. Columbias River Banks Zoo is also a favorite, as is the Greenville Zoo.
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Where Do They Live
Bobcats live in 48 of the 50 United States. In South Carolina, the greatest population of bobcats can be found right here in the Lowcountry. Maritime forests and marshy areas provide an ideal habitat for a diverse array of wildlife, including bobcats.
The dense maritime forests of the Sea Islands provide a safe haven for these shy felines. Kiawah Island has become an especially attractive area to bobcats because of the efforts designed to maintain green space. Many bobcats travel between Kiawah and Seabrooks Islands, as both islands provide a desirable habitat.
Does South Carolina Have Mountain Lions
Every year, hundreds of South Carolinians insist that they spotted a mountain lion, but according to the official record, nobody has seen one in the state in over 100 years. Most experts dismiss supposed sightings as misidentified coyotes or bobcats.
As of now, the nearest mountain lion population lives in south Floridas Everglades. While they were widespread at one point, agriculture and hunting decimated cougar populations in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The one potential South Carolina mountain lion, the eastern cougar, was declared extinct in 2011. Although an occasional large cat being kept as a pet may escape from captivity, there has been no evidence of a reproducing population of cougars in the state.
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Are There Bobcats In South Carolina
Bobcats are found in the lowermost 48 states, including South Carolina. These mammals are most commonly found along the Coastal Plain, but are located throughout the state.
The creature is referred to as a Bobcat due to its very short tail, which typically averages in at about 5 inches among adult bobcats.
The tail is a dark color on top and usually white below. It is believed that this color combination may serve the purpose of signaling of some type. Continue reading to learn about South Carolinas bobcats.
The Bobcat Gps Research Project
The Town of Kiawah Island, in partnership with the Kiawah Conservancy, initiated a Bobcat GPS tracking study in 2007. The study is still ongoing and a total of 99 bobcats have been captured and fitted with GPS collars. Collars are programmed to obtain a specific number of locations per day. More than 200,000 individual bobcats locations have been obtained to date. Learn more on the GPS Research
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Where To Find The Top Wild Animals In South Carolina
A citizen of the state wont need to travel far to experience South Carolinas wildlife. All manner of birds, opossums, raccoons, skunks, wild hogs, and white-tailed deer are frequent visitors to farms and backyards. However, South Carolina does have 47 state parks that cover 9000 acres from the southern coast to the mountains. In these parks, the visitor can glimpse the less common animals such as the badger, the mink, alligators, and the long-tailed weasel.
Among the state and national parks is Table Rock State Park in Pickens County where people can fish for the state fish, the striped bass as well as catfish, trout, and bream at Pinnacle Lake and Lake Oolenoy. Other areas are Caesars Head State Park, where visitors can find black bears, try to get a glimpse of the endangered green salamander, and fish for trout in the rivers.
Found only 18 miles from Columbia, the state capital, Congaree National Park is home to feral pigs, otters, bobcats, and armadillos. Its waters hold many species of fish, including catfish. Other sites are Kings Mountain State Park and Paris Mountain State Park, with their many varieties of birds and fish. Hunting Island State Park is a barrier island thats home to alligators, deer, diamondback rattlesnakes, and many types of fish, including barracuda. It is where the rare loggerhead turtle hauls out to dig nests in the sand and lay eggs.
Remove Feral Cats Now
Do you think the stray cat or cats are adorable, or are they becoming a nuisance? Either way, you must know it is wise to stay away and get rid of them.
If stray cats are making themselves at home on your property, get in touch with Precision Predator Removal and Wildlife Management, LLC.
At Precision Predator we offer humane and safe feral cat removal services.
We will stop the spread of cat-scratch, rabies and other parasitic diseases, prevent injury to domesticated cats, stop the mess around your garbage, and stop the annoying noises day and night.
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Charlestons Bobcat Population + Protection
Bobcat on Kiawah Island | Photo via @townofkiawah
Today is National Black Cat Day, and while the only dark-coated felines we see in Charleston are typically domestic cats, we do have bobcats.
The bobcat, officially called lynx rufus and sometimes called wildcat, is a wild, carnivorous feline that can weigh anywhere between 11 and 30 pounds usually twice as large as the average house cat. This species, named after its bobbed tail, lives on a diet typically consisting of rabbits, birds, mice, squirrels + other small game.
Bobcats are found in almost all U.S. states, and in South Carolina they are most abundant in the Lowcountry.
The most prevalent area of healthy, monitored bobcat populations in Charleston is on Kiawah Island. Due to its dense forests, bobcats are commonly spotted roaming the island typically during the hours from dusk to dawn. These felines are shy + keep their distance, posing little threat to humans.
Bobcats are vital to the islands ecosystem, and research has been conducted to better understand their habitat needs + requirements.
Recently, town officials have found that the islands bobcat population is steadily after some were found dead from consumption of rat poison. Once, there were as many as 35 bobcats roaming the island, but now there are presumably less than 10. According to Kiawah Wildlife Biologist Jim Jordan, the decline is directly linked to an increase of deer, as bobcats prey on fawns.
Wild Cats List: Conclusion
Wild cats species are found in temperate and tropical regions all around the world, in habitats ranging from deserts to rainforests.
Sadly, over half of all wild cat species are currently threatened. Several wild cats are endangered, including perhaps the best-known wild cat of all: the tiger.
Cats, being obligate carnivores, require not only suitable habitat for themselves, but also for their prey. Many cats on the list above are adversely affected by habitat loss, and cats around the world are still being persecuted by humans.
This needs to stop the consequence of not doing so is a world without tigers, lions, leopards and many other cat species.
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What Type Of Habitat Does A Bobcat Prefer
Bobcats are typically found in areas that are heavily forested throughout the State of South Carolina. The creatures may also be found in bottomland forests and the lower area of the Coastal Plain.
Piedmont habitats that have combinations of clear spaces and forest coverage are ideal for these creatures due to the fact that it allows for alternate prey to be obtained all year long, as each season passes.
Bobcats In South Carolina
Bobcats are an elusive species. While they are relatively common in the state, it is actually quite difficult to spot them. They are extremely shy and nocturnal for the most part. They are most active around dawn and dusk, though they will technically come out at any time.
As a territorial species, these cats do not live close to each other. Their home ranges vary in size depending on the location. Cats need enough food within their territory to survive, so their ranges will be based on where food is located in the areasome may have territory that stretches over 40 acres.
Bobcats will eat a wide range of different foods. As opportunistic animals, they tend to eat whatever size-appropriate animal they can find. In South Carolina, this often leads to them eating smaller deer, rabbits, and rats. However, they may also consume fish, birds, and squirrels, and some have even been seen eating insects.
While these cats are too small to threaten most people, they can sometimes hunt small livestockchickens are the most common victims. While these cats are shy, they will live near humans to grant them access to livestock.
This species is also known to hunt and potentially kill domesticated felines. It is unknown whether they see them as competition or food.
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Is the Florida Panther on the edge of extinction? Their numbers are growing but at a slow pace. In the 1970s there were only known to be around 20 Florida panthers in the wild. In 2012, their numbers had increased to somewhere between 100 to 160. Today, in 2021, according to the National Wildlife Federation, there are still only between 120 and 130.
Wildcats And Habitat Loss
Though most of these wildcats are quite elusive, habitat loss is pushing them into closer and closer contact with humans. To find out more about habitat loss and what you can do to fight it, visit The National Wildlife Federation’s website.
While wildcats are being forced to venture closer to urban areas, it’s still fairly rare to come into contact with any of these felines. In any case, at least now you know a little more about the wonderful wildcats of North America.
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Eastern Cougar Does Inhabit South Carolina
I’m not Bill Bryson, and this column isn’t entitled ‘A Walk In the Woods.’ Neither am I Rudy Mancke, Marlin Perkins, or Jim Fowler. Yet, something occurred yesterday on an upstate highway that has inspired me to postpone the column that I had planned for this week. I came face to face with the famed Carolina panther, and I don’t mean the blue and black NFL variety. Long thought to be extinct, the Carolina version of the big Eastern cougar is alive and very well, thank you.
Driving along U.S. 341 an hour before sunset near the intersection of Winterhaven Road, one mile east of Kershaw, I saw what appeared to be a very large Tom cat crossing the road. In an instant my senses said ‘Bobcat.’ The head was round and large, the color was mottled brown, the height exceeded that of a house cat – that tail – well, it was as long as the cat and very thick. He paused on the side of the road. I stopped the car thirty feet away, and we stared at each other for a few moments. Big Cat arched his back the way cats do when alarmed, and he bounded into the woods. That cat was gone in a flash. Driving on, I reflected that many of the Upstate servicemen called up for the Army in 1918 were placed in the 81 st Wildcat Division. Those thoughts contented me for a few miles until some reflection revealed what should have been obvious when I first set eyes on the beast — a Bobcat can’t have a long, thick tail.
What Does A Bobcat Look Like
A bobcat has short, dense and extremely soft fur. On the back, it is either light brown or reddish brown. The underside of the creature and the inside of its leg are typically white and include dark-colored bars or spots.
The tail is short and dark on top and white-colored below. The adult is up to twice as large as an adult domestic cat. They may weigh anywhere from 10 pounds to 40 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females.
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Are Panthers In South Carolina
Panthers are simply another term for mountain lions or cougars, which are actually known by many different names. As we previously stated, these cats are not currently established in the state. Occasionally, individual animals may be spotted, but these sightings are not confirmed.
While mountain lions may occasionally wander into the area, they are exceedingly rare and the state has no breeding population.
Bobcats In South Carolina: What You Need To Know
Carolina, the bobcat is one of the more secretive and shy critters that live in our area. Bobcats are most active at night and are very territorial. A bobcat will establish and keep the same territory for its entire life in most cases. When fully grown, at about 1.5 to 2 years of age, the bobcat is between two to three times the size of the average housecat. They are easy to recognize by their bobbed tail and white spots on the upper sides of the ears.
Bobcats and YouBobcats are very shy and will avoid people in most cases. The few instances when bobcats have attacked people, they were infected with rabies. Bobcats are present in all 48 contiguous states in the US and survive around 12 years in the wild. Bobcats do not form pair bonds and female bobcats raise kittens alone without the help of a male. If you encounter a bobcat, most of the time you can slowly back away and they will do the same. Other deterrents for bobcats are bright light and loud noise.
If you own a home, there are things you can do to avoid attracting a bobcat to your yard. Dont leave pets outside unattended at night. Dont leave pet food, open trash or other items that might attract other wildlife as the bobcat preys on many other local wildlife species. Eliminating things that interest other types of wildlife can keep them and hungry bobcats away. And dont be fooled by fences. Bobcats can easily climb wooden fence posts and can even jump over fences as high as six feet tall.
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Are There Mountain Lions In South Carolina
Mountain lions were once native to South Carolina. However, as people moved into the area, much of their environment was destroyed. Currently, there has not been a verified sighting in over 100 years.
However, cougars do have a renowned wanderlust and are known for ending up places they technically arent supposed to be.
Currently, experts are adamant that there is no known mountain lion population in South Carolina. The large cats are not staying and breeding in the state. However, that does not mean that cougars may not end up in the state at all.
Young males must find their own territory after leaving their mothers. Sometimes, they travel quite far to make this happen and they may travel so far that they end up in South Carolina. However, without females in the area, males are unlikely to stay for long. Most sightings are not likely established populations. Instead, theyre wandering males.
There are many reports made to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources each year about mountain lions. In fact, they usually receive close to 100 calls. However, they have not been able to confirm any of these sightings. Most tracks and pictures could possibly have been a different animal, which means that they cannot officially count as a cougar sighting.
While there may be a few stray mountain lions wandering around the state, there is not currently an established population.