Typical wildlife counting objectives
Wildlife counts could include one or more of these objectives:
- Numbers and distribution
- Basic wildlife inventory
- Carrying capacity
- Population monitoring
- Game reserve and game ranch planning
- Game off-takes
- Support of research projects or management strategies
- Tourism planning
- Property transactions
No single wildlife counting technique will ensure satisfactory results for all species in all landscape types.
The following game counting techniques are available, or could be adapted for specific needs:
- Total counts (total area) or complete counts
- Sample counts (systematic and block counts)
- River and waterway counts (total counts)
- Photo/video based counts (total and sample counts)
If required, aerial counts could also include:
- Fires and human activities such settlements, livestock, cultivation, poaching, etc.
- Drive counts (usually total a total area counts done by a group of observers on foot)
- Sample counts, on foot or by vehicle, following predetermined transects
- Sample counts using existing roads or tracks
- Calling stations (typically for predator surveys)
- Trail camera surveys for sample counts
- Trail camera surveys for inventories of wildlife present
- Ground counts could also include the collection of information on the basic population structure of selected species (more information)
A wildlife survey can either be a total count (census) or a sample count.
- Total count (or census): a complete count of a population in an area
- Sample count: a count of a proportion of a population. The results are then applied to the total area to estimate the total population
Training courses in counting methodology and theory, and count data management are also offered.
Such courses have been presented in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Cȏte d’Ivoire for various NGOs, government institutions and private enterprises.
Both theoretical and practical training courses can be arranged.
Online short courses on censusing methodology and theory can be arranged.
Online short courses in census methodology, available via Zoom, offer a very affordable alternative and can easily be adapted to meet individual or specific needs.