Namibian Journal of Environment <p>The <em>Namibian Journal of Environment</em>&nbsp;is a&nbsp;peer-reviewed, free, open access&nbsp;scientific journal published by the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Environmental Information Service, Namibia</a>, for the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism</a>, the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Namibian Chamber of Environment</a>&nbsp;and the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Namibia University of Science and Technology</a>.</p> <p>The <em>NJE</em>&nbsp;accepts papers containing information about any aspect of the environment&nbsp;in Namibia. This includes areas of ecology, agriculture, social sciences, economics, policy and law, water and energy, climate change, planning, land use, pollution, strategic and environmental assessment and related fields, as they pertain to Namibia. It publishes primary research findings, syntheses and reviews, applied and theoretical research, field observations and the testing of hypotheses, new ideas and the exchange of opinions, and book reviews.</p> <p>The <em>NJE&nbsp;</em>publishes four categories of articles:</p> <p>Section A. Peer-reviewed full-length formal research articles in basic and applied research.<br>Section B. Peer-reviewed shorter and less formal research reports, including short notes and field observations.<br>Section C. Open articles not based on formal research results but nevertheless pertinent to Namibian environmental science.<br>Section D. Peer-reviewed monographic contributions and comprehensive subject treatments, including conference proceedings.</p> The Environmental Information Service, Namibia for the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, the Namibian Chamber of Environment and the Namibia University of Science and Technology. en-US Namibian Journal of Environment 2026-8327 <p>Articles in this journal are licensed under a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.</a> The copyright of all articles and field notes belongs to the authors. All other&nbsp;copyright is held by the journal.</p> First records for Namibia of Lesser Masked Weaver <i>Ploceus intermedius</i> subsp. <i>beattyi</i> <p>The presence in Namibia along the Kunene River and border of Angola of the <em>beattyi </em>subspecies of <em>Ploceus intermedius</em> (Lesser Masked Weaver) is reported for the first time. Observations suggested that <em>beattyi</em> probably grades into birds of the <em>cabanisii</em> subspecies from Epupa Falls and further upstream along the Kunene River, while typical <em>cabanisii</em> occurs south of the Kunene River.</p> W Swanepoel RW Becker V De Cauwer Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-02 2022-09-02 6 C 13 Analysis of records from community game guards of human-elephant conflict in Orupupa Conservancy, northwest Namibia <p>Competition between local people and elephants (<em>Loxodonta africana</em>) for water and vegetation is an increasing concern in many conservancies in northwest Namibia. Many livestock were lost during droughts in 2018-2019, and there are risks of more severe droughts in the future because of climate change. Little research has been published on elephants in the Northern Highlands, although the community game guards have been collecting data for many years in Event Books, as part of their role within conservancies. These include records of human-elephant conflict incidents. The objective of this study was to assess in detail the data on human-elephant conflict in Event Books for Orupupa Conservancy. In addition to analysis of Event Book data, consultations were carried out with community game guards in 2021 and 2022. Incidents involving elephants tend not to be frequent, but damage at water points can have a major impact on a local community because of the time taken and expenses of repairing the infrastructure. In 2019 and 2020 there was a changing dynamic in which some local communities set up vegetable gardens near water points or springs. The number of incidents of elephant damage at vegetable gardens greatly increased in 2020. Our study demonstrates that detailed analysis of Event Book data for additional conservancies would be useful. Combined with local ecological knowledge, the Event Book data can be used to inform the planning of local actions to reduce human-elephant conflict, including conservation of elephants and their habitats, in line with the actions in Namibia’s National Elephant Conservation and Management Plan. The study also confirmed the substantial knowledge of community game guards and their important work in keeping records in Event Books. The expansion of their monitoring role to identify specific elephant herds would provide benefits in terms of improving knowledge on the elephant population and movements, and the potential for early warning between villages about the more problematic herds.</p> MJ Wenborn V Nijman D Kangombe R Katira Zaako U Tjimuine A Kavita J Hinu R Huwe VJ Ngarukue KJ Kapringi MS Svensson Copyright (c) 2022 2022-11-21 2022-11-21 6 A 100 At home or passing through? Leopard population and spatial ecology on a private game reserve <p class="AbstractNJE-A">Estimating large carnivore population size and understanding how individuals share space is crucial for their conservation, even more so now they are increasingly restricted to small, fenced game reserves where active management is often required. Combining data from GPS collars and camera traps, we estimated population size for leopards (<em>Panthera pardus</em>) on Ongava Game Reserve, northern Namibia, and investigated their spatio-temporal use of waterholes. Over three years of camera trapping, we identified a total of 29 individuals (including 12 adult or sub-adult females and 15 adult or sub-adult males). Based on the time interval over which they were observed, we defined 10 of these individuals as resident (four adult or sub-adult males and six adult or sub-adult females). The remaining 19 individuals (66%) were classified as transient. During the same period, we deployed two GPS collars, one on a resident adult male, the other on a resident adult female. Home range sizes from GPS data were estimated at 193 km<sup>2</sup> for the male and 122 km<sup>2</sup> for the female. Based on home range overlap found in the literature, we estimated Ongava’s resident population to be composed of 2-4 males and 3-6 females. We found no evidence of exclusive use of waterholes by individuals, suggesting an absence of spatial avoidance. Our work highlights the importance of taking social status (resident vs transient) into account and of using multiple methods when estimating population size of leopards.</p> S Périquet S Crawford S Naholo S Stratford K Stratford Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-08 2022-09-08 6 A 91 Media coverage of climate change in Namibia and South Africa: A comparative study of newspaper reports from October 2018 to April 2019 <p>Climate change is among the global issues that have permeated the media agenda, yet studies on climate crises have mostly focused on Western media. Less in-depth analysis has been conducted in developing countries that are extremely subject to climate change and where awareness and adaptation will be more pressing than reducing emissions. This study presents a comparative content analysis of newspaper coverage of climate change in southern Africa from October 2018 to April 2019; a critical period when significant events conjoined to raise the need to tackle climate breakdown globally. The analysis included 108 newspaper articles published in English by news media in Namibia and South Africa that have a significant influence on policymakers and present global and local coverage of climate change. The assessment included news articles from The Namibian, Windhoek Observer, Cape Argus, and Sunday Times. Data were collected and analysed using content discourse analysis. The study found that articles are frequently sourced from foreign news agencies. Significant international and local events like Cyclone Idai and the United Nations Climate Change Conferences (COP24 – Katowice) strongly influenced the reporting of climate change in southern Africa, and dominant climate change thematic frames and linguistic repertoires were used to discuss the climate crises. The discussions of global warming were framed around public opinion (civil/protest) while small actions and alarmist were mostly used as linguistic repertoires in reporting climate change. The causes and effects of climate change are discussed with alarm, while mitigations and measures are reported as small actions. Reporters frequently used adjectives such as no tomorrow, extinction, and heatwaves to warm the public about the severity of climate change. The study strongly suggests a need for reporters to widen local report sourcing and to strike a balance in framing climate change news while not undermining the seriousness of global warming. It is important to balance warning journalists about alarmist reporting and not underestimating the severity of climate change. Journalists and editors who are trained in environmental journalism may better report on climate change.</p> MN Shimhanda B Vivian Copyright (c) 2022 2022-07-20 2022-07-20 6 A 66 Range extension of <em>Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia</em> (Laurenti, 1768) in Namibia <p class="AbstractNJE-B">While Namibia has a high diversity of reptiles (Herrmann &amp; Branch 2013), it is deficient in records for most reptile species, and several distributions are still poorly understood. We extend the known range for <em>Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia</em> by more than 700 km southwest from the nearest published Namibian record, and more than 150 km southeast from the nearest recorded museum record. This represents one of the most arid records for the species.</p> F Theart TJ Ping K Engelking FS Becker Copyright (c) 2022 2022-05-25 2022-05-25 6 C 9 Understanding community attitudes toward the Angolan giraffe (<em>Giraffa giraffa angolensis</em>) and its potential reintroduction into Iona National Park <p>Wildlife introductions are often preceded by habitat suitability studies, although to date the possible impact of human communities' attitudes towards reintroductions of species have seldom been assessed in any detail. Iona National Park (NP) in Angola is inhabited by people, predominantly on the eastern fringes, and as such any reintroduction would benefit from the buy-in of these communities. Therefore, understanding community attitudes is essential for successfully reintroducing the Angolan giraffe (<em>Giraffa giraffa angolensis</em>) in Iona NP where the species has been locally extinct since before the 1980s due to indiscriminate poaching during the Angolan civil war. We undertook structured interviews of individuals (n = 82) from the Iona community living inside the park to: a) investigate their attitudes toward an Angolan giraffe reintroduction, b) understand people's willingness to co-exist with giraffe, and c) assess the risk of poaching. Our analyses revealed that whilst most people in the study area had never seen a live giraffe, they remained positive towards reintroducing them into the park. Only the minority Mungambwe and Mucubal ethnic groups, who are traditional agro-pastoral farmers, showed a neutral or negative attitude towards the reintroduction and were concerned about possible poaching of giraffe. The observed support by the majority of local communities for the potential reintroduction will be an advantage for conservation planners and managers moving this valuable conservation initiative forward.</p> J Hamutenya M Hauptfleisch V De Cauwer J Fennessy S Fennessy T Nzuma Copyright (c) 2022 2022-07-18 2022-07-18 6 A 56 Spatio-temporal functional diversity of large herbivores in Mudumu National Park, northeastern Namibia <p class="AbstractNJE-A">Functional diversity is a component of biodiversity that includes the range of roles that organisms perform in communities and can explain and predict the impact of organisms on ecosystems. Mudumu National Park is an important ecosystem that acts as a wildlife corridor for migratory fauna moving between Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Zambia. Thus, a thorough understanding of the functional diversity of large herbivores would assist with the management of the park. The present study examined large herbivore species contribution to total large herbivore biomass; dominant species’ functional similarities; and whether or not functional diversity is affected by increasing distance from the Kwando River. A total of twenty-two roads were selected that provided good coverage of the park and were surveyed using the line transect distance sampling method. All large herbivores seen on either side of the transects were identified to species level and recorded. The hierarchical cluster analysis in SPSS was used to classify the herbivores into functional groups. Only a small number of species were found to be dominant in both numbers and biomass. Furthermore, dominant species were found to be functionally distinct, and functional dominance changed with respect to season and distance from the river.</p> SL Mbeha LP Rutina Copyright (c) 2022 2022-08-26 2022-08-26 6 A 77 Provisional atlas of breeding birds of Henties Bay in the coastal Namib Desert <p>Fourteen species were recorded breeding in the town of Henties Bay (345 ha) in 2016/17 austral summer, six of which made up 85.4% of all breeding birds. The dominant species were Laughing Dove <em>Streptopelia senegalensis,</em> Common Waxbill <em>Estrilda astrild,</em> House Sparrow <em>Passer domesticus,</em> Southern Masked Weaver <em>Ploceus velatus,</em> Cape Sparrow <em>Passer melanurus,</em> and Rosy-faced Lovebird <em>Agapornis roseicollis. </em>The breeding avifauna in Henties Bay is similar to that in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay</p> G Kopij Copyright (c) 2022 2022-03-07 2022-03-07 6 C 6 Food limitation of seabirds in the Benguela ecosystem and management of their prey base <p>Four of seven seabirds that are endemic to the Benguela ecosystem (African Penguin <em>Spheniscus demersus</em>, Cape Gannet <em>Morus capensis</em>, Cape Cormorant <em>Phalacrocorax capensis</em>, Bank Cormorant <em>P. neglectus</em>) compete with fisheries for prey and have an IUCN classification of Endangered. Prey depletion and food resource limitations have been major drivers of recent large population decreases of each of these species. As populations decrease, colony sizes also dwindle rendering them susceptible to Allee effects and higher probabilities of extinction. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain colonies at sizes that minimise their probability of extinction. Means to ensure an adequate availability of food to achieve this goal include closing important seabird foraging areas (often adjacent to key colonies) to relevant fishing, implementing ecosystem thresholds below which such fishing is disallowed (which are also expected to benefit forage resources) and, should there be an altered distribution of prey, attempting to establish seabird colonies close to the new location of forage resources.</p> RJM Crawford WJ Sydeman DB Tom JA Thayer RB Sherley LJ Shannon AM McInnes AB Makhado C Hagen RW Furness T Carpenter-Kling C Saraux Copyright (c) 2022 2022-02-02 2022-02-02 6 A 13 A preliminary comparison of brown hyaena activity patterns at den sites located within a protected reserve and a commercial farmland <p>Wildlife activity patterns reflect both internal biological rhythms and adaptations to environmental factors. Studies examining the impact of anthropogenic activities on wildlife, including land-use, have frequently found changes in activity patterns in response to these activities. One species often found in human-dominated landscapes is the brown hyaena (<em>Parahyaena brunnea</em>), a large, nocturnal carnivore, endemic to southern Africa, which lives in societal clans that use a communal den. This study compared brown hyaena activity patterns at two den sites: a protected nature reserve and a non-protected commercial farmland in north-central Namibia. Activity curves produced by camera trap monitoring of the two den sites were significantly different and showed a coefficient of overlap of 0.21 (95% confidence intervals 0.19-0.25). Brown hyaena den activity at the protected site was mainly diurnal, whilst activity at the non-protected site showed a higher degree of nocturnal activity. Several potential reasons may explain the differences in den activity between the two sites, including environmental conditions and anthropogenic influences. More studies are needed with larger sample sizes to further investigate the impact of these factors.</p> H Fischer R Portas S Edwards Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-07 2022-09-07 6 B 5