Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) are usually nocturnal, solitary, secretive and inhabit thick bush, making it difficult to estimate its density and abundance. The present study assessed simulated drive counts, distance sampling from sighting efforts, and mark-resighting as estimators of bushbuck population size in valley thicket and coastal bushveld–grassland habitat for management purposes. Sighting efforts using distance sampling during spring were found to be the most effective estimators of bushbuck density and abundance at Shongweni Dam and Game Reserve. Furthermore, the method had high repeatability and simplicity, and low costs. However, continued estimations are required over several years to determine whether these estimations are useful for monitoring population trends of bushbuck.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1