Kiawah Island Nature Program


Kiawah Island is renowned for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and vast salt marshes, Kiawah has a mixture of lush maritime forests, brackish water ponds, and picturesque dunes.

Exploring this varied habitat gives you the opportunity to observe the tremendous variety of flora and fauna present on this pristine barrier island. During your stay on Kiawah, tour the island with our Naturalist staff as they open your eyes to the nature of Kiawah.

For a list of our many tours, click here.

Island Outpost

Located inside the Heron Park Nature Center, the Island Outpost is your place to go for original gifts and adventure-friendly apparel. With a wide selection of outdoor wear, the Island Outpost has something for the whole family. Our mission is to provide the opportunity to support South Carolina made, organic/earth friendly products in an effort to reflect our goal as an educational and conservation oriented resort.

Heron Park Nature Center

Bird Checklist

The Nature Center is open daily at 8:30am. Please refer to our calendar of events for an up to date listing of the hours and various nature tours being offered or call our Recreation Department at 843-768-6001.
Click here for 2023 Tide Chart.

Nature Notes

Each month the Nature Program sends out a newsletter filled with details about natural happenings taking place within Kiawah’s diverse environment.

In this newsletter you will learn about the amazing interactions between reptiles, birds, mammals, ocean life and plants. Guests and residents alike can stay up to date with the island’s green initiatives and monthly events. We need everyone’s help in protecting this unique ecosystem.
Read Nature Notes     Sign up for Nature Notes

Wildlife: As We See It

Check out our wildlife sightings at Wildlife: As We See It. Here, you’ll find postings from our Naturalists and island biologists showing you what is currently in the field as well as an archive of observations from throughout the year. We hope this site will get you excited about the amazing and diverse wildlife found on Kiawah. Birders, check out our “Feather Report” to find out what species we are encountering on our birding tours. Our Motorboat Captains are also keeping the fishing enthusiasts up to speed on what they’re catching. We would also love to hear from you! Get outside and share your photos and stories with us at

School Field Trips

Educators, please click here to learn more about our programs.



The Town of Kiawah Island takes a very active role in managing the natural resources on the island. From the wooded uplands to the beaches, animals thrive in the rich natural environment. Deer, bobcats, gray foxes, raccoons, river otters, and ospreys are just a few of the many animals that can be found on Kiawah Island. Wildlife management on Kiawah is handled by a full-time wildlife biologist and an assistant wildlife biologist in cooperation with the Town’s Environmental Committee, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and other island entities, such as the Kiawah Conservancy, Heron Park Nature Center and the Kiawah Island Community association. The Town and Conservancy have funded and supported several research projects and programs, many of which are ongoing, in order to better understand and manage the wildlife species on the island. Visit to learn more.

Kiawah Conservancy

As you enjoy this island teeming with wildlife and lush vegetation, remember that you are exploring a habitat that is becoming increasingly rare along our coast. Kiawah is fortunate to have the Kiawah Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which is committed to the preservation, enhancement and restoration of natural habitats needed to maintain a healthy, balanced and diverse population of native plants and animals at Kiawah Island. If you enjoy everything that makes Kiawah special, we encourage you to contribute to the Kiawah Conservancy through financial support. Tax-deductible gifts can be made upon checkout at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island or directly to the Kiawah Conservancy online at or in their office at 80 Kestrel Court, Kiawah Island. To learn more visit the Kiawah Conservancy online, like the them on Facebook, follow @KiawahConserv on Twitter or stop in at the Heron Park Nature Center and pick up a free copy of the Kiawah Conservancy’s Naturally Kiawah magazine.