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Namibian Wildlife Surveys archive

This archive of reports of wildlife surveys in Namibia aims to:

  • provide easy public access to published information and statistics
  • enable easy stakeholder access to recent and historical data on wildlife populations
  • provide a comprehensive archive of wildlife survey reports in Namibia

Public access to information is a vital component of ensuring community engagement in prevalent issues. Wildlife surveys are critical to determine the health of wildlife populations and determine trends over time to guide conservation and management actions. 

Wildlife surveys are done for different species using methods that are suited to counting them (e.g. by air or road) in their natural habitats. Such surveys need to be repeated over time to detect long-term trends and inform conservation managers. The Namibian government, non-governmental organisations and private reserves all conduct regular surveys covering different parts of Namibia and targeting different species. This archive will thus serve as a repository of our collective knowledge of the trends and status of a variety of species occurring throughout Namibia.

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Displaying results 1 - 50 of 229
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game counts in east Zambezi, Dry season - Live sighting, October 2020.
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Zambezi Game Count_East 2020.pdf 937.73 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Nyae Nyae and N#A -Jaqna Conservancies full moon waterhole counts: 2020.
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Nyae Nyae waterhole 2020.pdf 946.21 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game counts in southern Namibia, May 2020.
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Southern Conservancy Game Count 2020.pdf 818.01 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game counts - line transects Nyae Nyae Conservancy, July 2020.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game counts in north-central Namibia, July 2020.
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North Central Game Count 2020.pdf 1.06 MB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Full moon waterhole counts in northern Kunene, 2020.

Counts were undertaken at waterholes in the escarpment zone of north west Namibia. In 2018,18 waterholes in 7 conservancies were counted while in 2019 and 2020, the number of waterholes was increased to 26 covering 10 conservancies. Counts were undertaken over a period of 2, 3 or 4 days during which time all animals seen were counted.

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Waterholes_NW_poster_2020 final.pdf 509.47 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Hobatere Concession, May 2020.
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North West Game Count_Hobatere 2020.pdf 623.55 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game Counts in north-west Namibia: Palmwag and Etendeka Concessions, May 2020.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game Counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies south of the veterinary fence, May 2020.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020.  Game Counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of veterinary fence, May 2020.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game Counts in north-west Namibia: Regional summary, May 2020.
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North West Game Count_Regional 2020.pdf 693.43 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game counts: Kavango East, July 2020.
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Kavango poster 2020 final.pdf 1.17 MB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game counts in Hardap Game Park and Naute Recreation Resort, May 2020.
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Hardap and Naute Game Count 2020.pdf 774.7 KB
Longden EG, Elwen SH, McGovern B, James BS, Embling CB, Gridley T 2020. Mark-recapture of individually distinctive calls-a case study with signature whistles of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) . Journal of Mammalogy 101 (5) 1289-1301

Robust abundance estimates of wild animal populations are needed to inform management policies and are often obtained through mark–recapture (MR) studies. Visual methods are commonly used, which limits data collection to daylight hours and good weather conditions. Passive acoustic monitoring offers an alternative, particularly if acoustic cues are naturally produced and individually distinctive. Here we investigate the potential of using individually distinctive signature whistles in a MR framework and evaluate different components of study design.

Martin MJ, Gridley T, Roux J-P, Elwen SH 2020. First abundance estimates of Heaviside's (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii) and Dusky (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) dolphins off Namibia using a Novel Visual and Acoustic Line Transect Survey . Frontiers in Marine Science

Knowledge of a population’s abundance is of primary importance for conservation management. However, robust estimates of abundance are often difficult to obtain, especially for cetaceans which spend most of their lives submerged. Cetacean abundance is commonly estimated using aerial or vessel-based line transect surveys and distance sampling methods. During 2012–2014, the first line transect surveys to estimate cetacean abundance were conducted in Namibian waters.

Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2020. Game Counts in Bwabwata N.P.: Dry season - Live sightings, October 2020.
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Zambezi Game Count_Bwabwata 2020.pdf 1.22 MB
Elwen SH, Leeney RH, Gridley T 2019. Abundance estimates of an isolated population of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in Walvis Bay, Namibia, 2008–2012 . African Journal of Marine Science (41) 61-70

The coastal population of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus found in Namibia is regionally isolated and unique. This population faces several potential anthropogenic threats, especially in Walvis Bay, including boat-based tourism, a commercial harbour undergoing expansion, and aquaculture for oysters and mussels. Between 2008 and 2012, 238 boat-based surveys were conducted, resulting in 170 encounters with bottlenose dolphins. Overall, group sizes varied from 1 to 45 individuals (mean 10.7).

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Tursiops truncatus in Walvis Bay.pdf 2.67 MB
Kopij G, Paxton M 2019. Waterbirds in the panhandle of the Okavango Delta: dry season counts over two seven-year periods. Zoology and Ecology (29) 15-27

We counted waterbirds along a fixed route in the panhandle of the Okavango River in Mahango Game Reserve in the dry season during two seven-year periods (1991–1997 and 2000–2006). Palearctic migrants represented by 11 species in 1991–1997 and nine species in 2000–2006 together composed only a small percentage of all birds recorded in both periods. The two most numerous foraging guilds were birds foraging in shallow water and those foraging in deep water. The former guild was more numerous in 2000–2006, while the latter guild was more numerous in 1991–1997.

Kolberg H 2019. Summary of the 2018 winter wetland bird counts in Namibia. Lanioturdus 52 (2) 17-20
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game Counts in East Zambezi: Dry season - Live sightings, August 2019.

From 2016 onwards Bamunu (2) was included in counts. In 2018 the two Protected Areas Mudumu (7) and Nkasa Ruparo (8) were not included in counts. It is important to bear this in mind when interpreting tables, charts and a time series of posters.

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Zambezi Game Count_East 2019.pdf 544.93 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game Counts in Bwabwata N.P.: Dry season - Live sightings, August 2019.
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Zambezi Game Count_Bwabwata 2019.pdf 748.18 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game Counts in southern Namibia: May 2019.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game Counts in north-central Namibia: May 2019.
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North Central Game Count 2019 final.pdf 875.06 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game Counts: Kavango East, August 2019.
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Kavango East poster 2019 Final.pdf 767.43 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019.  Game Counts in north-west Namibia: Hobatere Concession, May 2019.
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North West Game Count_Hobatere 2019.pdf 581.69 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game Counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of veterinary fence, May 2019.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game Counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies south of the veterinary fence, May 2019.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2019. Game counts - line transect: Nyae Nyae Conservancy, Jul/Aug 2019.
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Nyae Nyae transect count 2019.pdf 705.14 KB
Craig GC, Gibson DSC 2019. Aerial survey of north-east Namibia - Elephants and other wildlife in Khaudum National Park and neighbouring areas, September 2019.

An aerial survey of wildlife and domestic livestock took place in the Khaudum National Park and its neighbouring areas from 18th to 23th September 2019 as part of a wider survey including Zambezi Region. A total area of 14029 km2 was sampled at intensities from 5% to 20%. The estimated numbers of numbers of each species are given in the table below. The increase in estimated numbers of elephants since 2013 has been greater than expected from natural reproduction, but the overall trend from 1998 shows an average rate of increase of 4.4% per annum.

Craig GC, Gibson DSC 2019. Aerial survey of north-east Namibia - Elephants and other wildlife in Zambezi Region, September/October 2019.

An aerial survey of wildlife and domestic livestock took place in Zambezi Region from 25 th September to 4 th October 2019 as part of a wider survey including Khaudum National Park and its neighbouring conservancies. A total area of 17 380km2 was sampled at intensities between 10 and 40%. The estimates of numbers of each species are tabulated below. The estimated number of elephants is lower than that from the 2015 survey, but the change is not statistically significant. There were considerably fewer elephant carcasses seen in 2019.

de Rock P, Elwen SH, Roux JP, Leeney RH, James BS, Visser V, Martin MJ, Gridley T 2019. Predicting large-scale habitat suitability for cetaceans off Namibia using MinxEnt. Marine Ecology Progress Series 619 149-167

Knowledge of the occurrence and distribution of cetaceans is particularly important for conservation and management, but is still limited within Namibian waters. We collated 3211 cetacean records from the Namibian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for the period 2008 to 2016 and applied the principle of minimum cross entropy (MinxEnt) to predict habitat suitability. MinxEnt is a generalised form of maximum entropy modelling that allows incorporation of additional information such as sampling bias.

Mendelsohn J, Haraes L 2018. Aerial census of Cape Cormorants and Cape Fur Seals at Baía dos Tigres, Angola. (2) 1-6

A total of 250,786 Cape Cormorants, of which 16,038 were individuals on nests in 349 colonies, and 15,831 Cape Fur Seals were counted during a complete aerial photographic census of the island of Tigres and part of the adjacent coast in Angola in March 2017. Such a concentration of birds and seals and the large number of breeding Cape Cormorants highlights the need to protect Tigres and its rich surrounding waters. Keywords: aerial census, Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, Baía dos Tigres, Cape cormorant, Cape fur seal, Phalacrocorax capensis.

Brown C 2018. Status of the Rock Pratincole in the Kapako area of the Okavango River, Kavango East, Namibia. Namibian Journal of Environment (2) 9-11

A boat survey conducted on 30 December 2017 along an 8.6 km stretch of the Okavango River revealed 45 adult Rock Pratincoles and 20 young birds. This brings the estimated number of Rock Pratincoles in the Okavango system in Namibia to about 361 birds, and for all river systems in Namibia to about 410 birds. Keywords: Glareola nuchalis, Namibia, Okavango river, Rock Pratincole, status.

Kolberg H 2018. Summary of the 2017 winter wetland bird counts in Namibia. Lanioturdus (51) 34-37
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. Game counts: Kavango East.
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Game Count Kavango East 2018.pdf 590.73 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Regional Summary.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of the veterinary fence, June 2018.

Summary of game counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of the veterinary fence, June 2018.

Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of the veterinary fence, June 2018.

Summary of game counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of the veterinary fence, June 2018.

Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Palmwag and Etendeka, June 2018.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Hobatere concession, June 2018.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. Game counts in southern Namibia, June 2018.
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. North Central Game Count data 2018.
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North Central Game Count data 2018.xlsx 146.33 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018. South Game Count data 2018.
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South Game Count data 2018.xlsx 91.93 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2018.  North West Game Count data 2018.
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North West Game Count data 2018.xlsx 434.86 KB
Kolberg H 2017. Status assessment of Namibia's vultures . Lanioturdus 50 (1) 9-17

Vultures provide essential ecological services, yet are amongst the world's most threatened species with populations having declined by more than 95% within ten years in some places. The biggest factor causing this decline is the use of poison, either intentionally or unintentionally. Other factors causing declines are collision with and electrocution by powerlines, illegal harvesting for traditional medicines, habitat loss and drowning in reservoirs.

Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2017. 2017 game counts: Kavango east.

Summary of 2017 game counts: Kavango east.

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2017 game counts_Kavango east.pdf 945.05 KB
Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2017. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Regional Summary, June 2017.

Summary of game counts in north-west Namibia: Regional Summary.

Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2017. Game counts in north-central Namibia, July 2017.

Summary of game counts in north-central Namibia, July 2017.

Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2017. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of the veterinary fence, June 2017.

Summary of game counts in north-west Namibia: Conservancies north of the veterinary fence, June 2017.

Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) 2017. Game counts in north-west Namibia: Palmwag and Etendeka concessions, June 2017.

Summary of game counts in north-west Namibia: Palmwag and Etendeka concessions, June 2017.