Ludwig’s Bustard Neotis ludwigii is globally ‘Endangered’ because of a projected population decline resulting from high collision mortality on power lines throughout its southern African range. Population monitoring is key to the effective conservation of threatened species, but there are no population trend data to confirm the impact of this mortality. We repeated extensive road and aerial census counts of Ludwig’s Bustards and other large terrestrial birds, previously conducted in the late 1980s, across the Karoo, South Africa. An aerial survey gave similar density patterns to a concurrent road count, suggesting that road counts are an adequate method for censusing Ludwig’s Bustards. In common with the 1980s surveys, there was a strong seasonal effect in the Succulent Karoo, with Ludwig’s Bustards abundant in winter and rare in summer. There was no evidence of a corresponding decline in the Nama Karoo in winter, but this probably relates to reduced detectability in the Nama Karoo in summer as there is evidence for large proportions of the population migrating between biomes. No relationship was found between the numbers of Ludwig’s Bustards and rainfall, perhaps because of larger scale rainfall patterns in the Karoo and/or because the species is not strictly nomadic. Compared with the 1980s, Ludwig’s Bustards were more strongly associated with transformed lands, which have increased marginally on road count transects. Using Distance, the current South African population is estimated at 114,000 (95% CI 87,000-148,000) birds, with no evidence for a population decline over the past two decades. Numbers of Blue Cranes Anthropoides paradiseus increased since the 1980s, corresponding with other data supporting this trend, but numbers of Karoo Korhaan Eupodotis vigorsii, Southern Black Korhaan Afrotis afra and Blue Korhaan E. caerulescens all decreased, raising concerns about the conservation status of these resident bustard species.