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 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 two categories of articles: Section A contains Peer-reviewed papers while&nbsp;Section B contains editor-reviewed Open articles such as field notes, book reviews and opinion pieces.</p> The Environmental Information Service, Namibia for the Ministry of Environment 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> <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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 A 49 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 2020-04-08 2020-04-08 4 A 40 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 2020-04-01 2020-04-01 4 A 27 Rehabilitated cheetahs exhibit similar prey selection behaviour to their wild counterparts: A case study of prey selection by rehabilitated cheetah released into an enclosed reserve in north-central Namibia <p>A major challenge for cheetah (<em>Acinonyx jubatus</em>) conservation is locating suitable areas to release captive-raised cheetahs that meet their need for large home ranges, whilst protecting them from human-wildlife conflict. The AfriCat Foundation has been rehabilitating and releasing cheetahs onto Okonjima Nature Reserve (ONR) near Otjiwarongo, Namibia, from 2000-2018. We analysed kill data for rehabilitated cheetahs on ONR to determine if captive-raised cheetahs exhibit similar prey selection to their wild counterparts. Between August 2017 and November 2018, a total of 65 kills made by seven cheetahs, comprising two sibling coalitions and three solitary individuals were recorded and analysed. Results suggest captive-raised cheetahs can hunt successfully, although all cheetahs in ONR required supplemental feeding for variable periods immediately after release. Once they were successfully hunting, rehabilitated cheetahs demonstrated similar prey selection behaviours to wild cheetahs. The ONR cheetahs selected prey based on size and local species abundance, and showed little difference in prey diversity across cheetah groupings. This study builds on previous studies into cheetah prey-selection behaviour, and can provide insight into choosing release sites for cheetahs, creating cheetah coalitions in captivity before release, as well as managing released cheetahs living with humans and other predators in smaller, fenced reserves.</p> L Vebber J Noack L Heyns D Rodenwoldt S Edwards Copyright (c) 2020 2020-03-11 2020-03-11 4 A 19 An evaluation of the Land Cover Classification Product <i>Sentinel 2 Prototype Land Cover 20 m Map of Africa 2016</i> for Namibia <p>Global information on land cover is a primary output of remote sensing applications due to its importance to global change sciences, but also to governments and international initiatives. Consequently, a variety of land cover datasets have been developed in the past. Today users can choose among different products with various spatial resolutions for applications on global as well as on regional scales. A new classification covering the African continent was released by the European Space Agency only recently. Thanks to its mapping approach of 20 m, the <em>Sentinel 2 Prototype Land Cover 20 m Map of Africa 2016</em> constitutes a novelty among the freely available products. However, being only a prototype, it is still missing final validation. This study aimed at evaluating the classification for the extent of Namibia by quantitatively and qualitatively comparing it to a selection of four low- to medium-resolution land cover products. Within the framework of an accuracy assessment for four test sites, statistical parameters were calculated which served as indicators for assessing the classification quality. According to the analysis, the overall accuracy of the prototype land cover product is on a medium level attaining approximately 54%. The per class accuracy varies from 2% to 100% suggesting that some classes require considerable reworking whereas others need less improvement. However, compared to the reference datasets, the prototype classification already constitutes a major development in land cover mapping.</p> M Andernach D Wyss M Kappas Copyright (c) 2020 2020-02-27 2020-02-27 4 A 12