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> 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 2021-02-15 2021-02-15 5 B 10 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 2021-02-08 2021-02-08 5 B 6 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 2020-11-13 2020-11-13 5 B 25 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 2020-09-29 2020-09-29 5 C 1 <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 2020-07-20 2020-07-20 5 B 20 Plant endemics of the TsauǁKhaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park <p>Endemic plant species of the TsauǁKhaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park in south-west Namibia were determined by reviewing spatial distribution data. These included accessible data sources at the National Botanical Research Institute in Namibia and online as well as published literature. A total of 31 strict park plant endemics, which includes 11 local endemics, was identified. Another 33 taxa are considered broader park endemics, as these can also be found just outside the borders of the park. The level of protection a taxon should receive increases with decreasing range size, making the local endemics good indicators for environmentally very sensitive habitats.</p> A Burke S Loots Copyright (c) 2020 2020-07-17 2020-07-17 5 A 70 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 2020-07-09 2020-07-09 5 B 18 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 2020-07-01 2020-07-01 5 B 15 Soil indicators for restoration monitoring in arid regions – a case study from the central Namib Desert <p>Soil properties are indicators for ecological processes and thus contribute to determining “functional and self-sustaining ecosystems” in a rehabilitation context. In a recovering ecosystem these indicators are expected to follow a trend towards a benchmark. Whether such a trend can be observed in rehabilitation projects in an arid environment was the question of this study. Soil properties of restored areas with six different treatments and corresponding reference sites were analysed at Trekkopje Mine in the central Namib Desert over six years. Soil properties which were reasonably stable over the monitoring period in reference sites, and not even affected by rainfall patterns, were pH, organic carbon, calcium, potassium, magnesium and clay content. The chemical indicators were likely linked to the treatments, although clear patterns had not yet developed. Organic carbon content was, however not linked to treatment or standing biomass. The best re-vegetated sites showed the lowest organic carbon, and thus no link between standing biomass and soil organic carbon. This may indicate that factors other than standing biomass control soil organic carbon and therefore call into question its use as an indicator of soil fertility in arid, recovering ecosystems. Control, scarified and topsoil-treated sites showed a clear trend in declining calcium, possibly as a result of the exposed, initially highly calcareous subsoil and subsequent leaching. Therefore, only one short-term soil indicator was supported by this study and more time and possibly a larger sample size are needed to show trends in other soil properties. Long-term data collection which consistently applies the same monitoring protocol is therefore essential in an arid environment and longer time intervals between monitoring events (e.g. 2-3 years) can be considered, if costs need to be reduced.</p> A Burke S Müller Copyright (c) 2020 2020-06-25 2020-06-25 5 A 61 An analysis of the risk of collisions between aircraft and vultures in Namibia <p>Collisions between aircraft and birds and other animals occur frequently and are known in the aviation industry as wildlife strikes. They are considered to be one of the most serious safety and financial risks to the global aviation industry. The International Civil Aviation Organisation, a United Nations specialised Agency, requires that the appropriate authority shall take action to eliminate or to prevent the establishment of any source which may attract wildlife to the aerodrome, or its vicinity, unless an appropriate wildlife assessment indicates that they are unlikely to create conditions conducive to a wildlife hazard problem. Namibian airports reduce the wildlife strike risk by managing the airport habitat and actively chasing birds and other hazardous animals away. The bird strike risk in airspace between airports is not managed or assessed in Namibia. Following one White-Backed Vulture strike and several reports of near-misses with vultures by pilots of small aircraft, this study investigated possible collision hotspot areas considering small commercial aircraft flight paths and vulture movement areas. The study used spatial proximity analysis and temporal overlap to compare telemetry and nesting location data for the three most commonly encountered vulture species to flight paths and times of small commercial aircraft. Collision risk hotspots were identified over three national parks: Etosha, Waterberg and the Pro-Namib portion of the Namib-Naukluft. Ascending from, or approaching, Hosea Kutako International Airport from the east was identified as a particular risk for White-backed Vulture conflict, while risk of Lappet-faced vulture strikes was high to the east of Walvis Bay airport. Flight times of vultures and aircraft corresponded greatly, increasing the collision risk. The recommendations of this work are that pilots of small commercial aircraft should be made aware of particular risk areas, and that landing at Hosea Kutako from the east, or taking off in an easterly direction should be minimised when wind conditions allow, to reduce vulture collision risk.</p> ML Hauptfleisch NM Knox P Heita O Aschenborn ML MacKenzie Copyright (c) 2020 2020-05-28 2020-05-28 5 A 49