Population estimation and harvesting potential for game in arid Namibia
We determined the densities of game on mixed game and livestock ranches in arid Namibia over three years using ground survey techniques and distance and point sampling. Annual game yield estimates varied considerably, depending on the sampling technique used. Estimates were further confounded by the fact that game can move freely between ranches. Our estimates suggest that the number of game that could be harvested per annum over time is relatively small. The spatial separation between cattle and game indicates that combining game and cattle ranching may be economical. Further studies on the space-use patterns for these species are necessary to determine how many ranches share the same animals. Rigorous population estimation techniques using aerial transects, combined with setting threshold values below which the populations will not be harvested, are necessary to reliably assess the density of the animals in this region and to prevent over harvesting.