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> en-US <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> (Dr Ken Stratford) (Ms Alice Jarvis) Mon, 08 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 Of teeth and claws: Taking stock of carnivore research in the greater Etosha landscape <p>The Etosha National Park and its surrounding areas in northern Namibia have been the focus of research for more than a century, yielding a great amount of environmental and ecological knowledge. The results have appeared in different forms and formats, and these are stored in numerous repositories, many of which are difficult to access. This limits distribution and effective use of existing knowledge about specific topics and biological taxa, whilst also constraining the opportunity to identify future research priorities. In this study, we assessed published and unpublished accounts to compile an overview of previous mammalian carnivore research in the greater Etosha landscape – one of the few remaining large sub-Saharan areas (&gt; 69,000 km<sup>2</sup>) with a nearly intact carnivore guild. Of the 644 carnivore-related documents we found, 139 studies met our inclusion criteria. From these, we identified trends emerging from spatial, temporal, species, authorship, and topic patterns, whilst also digitising source materials and creating an annotated bibliography that is being made available to others. Our synthesis of carnivore research revealed several historical biases in terms of: i) where carnivore studies occurred (mainly within National Park boundaries); ii) which species were studied (mostly large-bodied, charismatic animals, especially the lion <em>Panthera leo</em>); and iii) which research themes and topics prevailed (mostly ecology topics focussing on occurrence, diet, and demographics). We also found that carnivore research output has been declining during the last three decades and this was accompanied by a shift in lead authorship from government-employed researchers to external investigators. We use our results to provide a stimulus for re-focusing future carnivore studies. We encourage similar syntheses and stock-taking of what is known for other taxa and topic areas, stressing the importance of preserving historical knowledge and making it accessible.</p> FJ Weise, JW Kilian, S Périquet Copyright (c) 2021 Fri, 15 Oct 2021 00:00:00 +0000 A description of daytime resting sites used by brown hyaenas (<em>Parahyaena brunnea</em>) from a high-density, enclosed population in north-central Namibia <p class="AbstractNJE-B">Successfully conserving large carnivores requires an in-depth understanding of their habitat requirements. Ideally this includes a knowledge of the habitat types and features used as resting sites. Resting sites are an important requirement for many species, as they have the potential to influence species distribution and density. We examined the daytime resting sites used by brown hyaenas, a large carnivore endemic to southern Africa and classed as Near Threatened by the IUCN, within an enclosed reserve in north-central Namibia. Using historical spatial data from GPS collars we analysed 1&nbsp;582 resting sites from nine adult brown hyaenas and classified them according to their location relative to the home range of each hyaena. We also visited a randomly chosen sub-set (n = 123) of these resting sites in the field and recorded habitat types and microhabitat features for each. Our results showed that brown hyaenas most frequently rested within the core area of their home range, most frequently in riverine habitat, followed by bush encroached habitat, and most frequently used microhabitat under a tree or bush. The fact that bush encroached habitat is being frequently used for resting is an important consideration for brown hyaena conservation. Bush encroached areas are often cleared by debushing projects in Namibia and the practice may negatively impact brown hyaenas.</p> T Kambongi, L Heyns, D Rodenwoldt, S Edwards Copyright (c) 2021 Mon, 08 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Announcement of changes to Namibian Journal of Environment sections <p>This announcement serves to alert authors to recent changes in the journal's sectional arrangement.</p> J Irish Copyright (c) 2020 Tue, 29 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Towards understanding the presence of abundant fish in running <em>iishana</em> <p>Although the <em>iishana</em> (seasonal watercourses) deltaic system in northern Namibia and southern Angola is usually dry, millions of fish populate the more than 100 000 km<sup>2</sup> area during high floods that occur irregularly about once in three years. The origin of the fish has been a topic of debate for a long time, including suggestions of refugia for breeding fish in the upper parts of the Mui and Cuvelai catchments, deep dams in both Angola and Namibia and fish arriving with flood water from the Kunene River. This paper discusses fish collections made during a major <em>efundja</em> (large flood with plenty of fish) in 2017 and a medium flood in 2020. The bulk of fish during major <em>efundja</em> comprise two species that were also collected in the flooding Cuvelai and in <em>iishana</em> fed from deep dams in 2020. The source of fish during medium floods is therefore ascribed to fish surviving in refugia and then breeding successfully. The fish occurring in abundance in <em>iishana</em> during major <em>efundja</em>, however, come from tributaries of the Kunene along the divide with the western <em>iishana</em>, where spawners and young fish cross the divide and migrate into the headwaters of the <em>iishana</em>. Plentiful fish during <em>efundja</em> relies on unhindered access into the <em>iishana</em>. The Cuvelai system is threatened by environmental degradation in the <em>iishana</em> region and inappropriate road infrastructure is a constraint. Fisheries activities should be regulated and cooperation between the Angolan and Namibian authorities is required to ensure the survival and continuation of fish resources.</p> BCW van der Waal, MHT Hipondoka, MN Ekandjo Copyright (c) 2021 Mon, 15 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0000 <i>Melissotarsus</i> Emery (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a new country record for Namibia <p><em>Melissotarsus </em>Emery (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a new country record for Namibia</p> J Irish Copyright (c) 2020 Mon, 20 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000 New plant records: updating Namibia's botanical checklist <p>Several plant species have been recorded from Namibia for the first time, and 39 new species have been described to science since the publication of 'A checklist of Namibian Indigenous and Naturalised Plants' (Klaassen &amp; Kwembeya 2013). A list of these first records and newly described species for Namibia is provided and will be incorporated into the revised Namibian checklist which will be both published in the series 'Occasional Contributions of the National Botanical Research Institute' and made available on-line once complete.</p> FM Chase, QF Daniels Copyright (c) 2020 Fri, 13 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0000 A perfect storm? The impact of COVID-19 on community-based conservation in Namibia <p>We report on a rapid survey of five communal-area conservancies in Namibia to understand initial impacts on community-based conservation of national and international policies for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Namibia's Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) programme has been growing for over 30 years, with high economic reliance on tourism and conservation hunting. We review the interrelationships between COVID-19, CBNRM, tourism and hunting, and discuss our findings under eight interlocking themes: 1) disruption to management and regular operational processes of conservancies, including 2) effects on conservancy wildlife patrolling and monitoring; 3) losses of revenue and cash flow in conservancy business operations; 4) impacts on Joint-Venture Partnerships; 5) impacts on employment opportunities and local livelihoods; 6) effects on community development projects and social benefits, including 7) disruption to funded projects and programmes; and 8) lack of technical capacity regarding communication technologies and equipment. In our conclusion we discuss tensions between an assumption that normal business can or will be resumed, and calls for the COVID-19 pandemic to create an opportunity for global choices away from 'business-as-normal'. It is too early to tell what mix of these perspectives will unfold. What is clear is that communal-area conservancies must derive benefits from conservation activities in their areas that are commensurate with their role as key actors in the conservation of Namibia's valuable wildlife and landscapes.</p> SM Lendelvo, M Pinto, S Sullivan Copyright (c) 2020 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Criteria for biodiversity special value zones in the Sperrgebiet – plant endemism and species richness measures in practice <p>Zoning protected areas for management purposes usually requires a base layer representing biodiversity and ecological criteria. This study illustrates a systematic process of assigning special value zones within the TsauǁKhaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park. Clearly defined criteria resulted in fourteen areas of very high biodiversity importance. These are the Kowis mountains, Lüderitz peninsula, Tsaukhaib-Haalenberg inselbergs, Grillental-Pomona corridor, Boegoeberg, Klinghardt mountains, Tsaus mountain, Heioab-Aurus mountain range, Chamnaub inselbergs, Rooiberg-Nudavib mountains, Skorpion inselbergs, Obib mountains, Schakalsberge and the Orange River valley.</p> A Burke Copyright (c) 2020 Wed, 08 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000 Anatomical comparison between skulls and mandibles of Hartmann's zebra <i>Equus zebra hartmannae</i> and Burchell's zebra <i>E. burchellii antiquorum</i> in Namibia <p>External anatomical features of skulls and mandibles of ten Hartmann's zebras and ten Burchell's zebras in Namibia are described. Out of 44 structural features examined, 13 differ significantly (p=0.001) to the extent that they can be used to unambiguously identify the two species from intact skulls and mandibles. These differences are found in the <em>foramen magnum</em>, <em>processus zygomaticus</em>, <em>crista pterygoidea</em>, <em>meatus acusticus externus</em>, <em>processus mastoideus</em>, <em>crista facialis</em>, <em>sutura frontonasalis</em>, <em>os frontale</em>, <em>foramina supraorbitale</em>, <em>crista sagittalis externa</em>, <em>processus palatini</em>, <em>processus retroarticularis</em> and interalveolar border of the mandible. Using a combination of some or all of these differences enables an observer to identify the skulls of these two species of zebra with relative ease.</p> HH Berry Copyright (c) 2020 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000 First confirmed record of green turtle (<i>Chelonia mydas</i>) nesting along the Namibian coast <p class="ArticletitleNJE-B"><span lang="EN-ZA">First confirmed record of green turtle (<em>Chelonia mydas</em>) nesting along the Namibian coast.</span></p> PL Cunningham, J van Rooyen Copyright (c) 2020 Thu, 09 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000