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 John Irish) (Ms Alice Jarvis) Mon, 08 Feb 2021 08:26:17 +0000 OJS 60 Detection success of cheetah (<em>Acinonyx jubatus</em>) scat by dog-human and human-only teams in a semi-arid savanna <p class="AbstractNJE-A">The cheetah (<em>Acinonyx jubatus</em>), like many other terrestrial large carnivores, exhibits elusive behaviour, occurs in low numbers over large home ranges, and has experienced population decline and range contraction. Therefore, long-term conservation strategies are needed which rely on accurate ecological data. Surveys using scat collection and analysis can generate these data and using scat detection dogs (<em>Canis familiaris</em>) is an effective method to gather scat samples. However, transect dimensions, local weather conditions and vegetation can influence the scat detection success. We conducted an experiment evaluating the influence of these factors on a scat detection dog-handler team, to assist the planning of optimal survey designs. We placed cheetah scat along transects of varying sizes established in different vegetation conditions and recorded environmental parameters during searches. Additionally, we evaluated the dog’s performance compared to that of human searchers on one identical set of transects. The dog had an average detection rate of 45% and an accuracy rate of 100% over all trials. Increasing search time and decreasing transect width had the strongest positive influences on the detection rate. If transect dimensions did not exceed 100 m in length and 25 m in width, the dog achieved a detection rate of 93.3%, resembling the effective search area. We found no significant influences of weather conditions and vegetation cover. Human searchers achieved a detection rate of 22% and an accuracy rate of 55% compared to a 75% detection rate and 100% accuracy rate for the dog on the identical transects. To increase sample return, we recommend the calibration of study designs for individual dog-handler teams, as well as more frequent use of scat detection dogs for surveying populations of rare carnivores.</p> T Hofmann, L Marker, H Hondong Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 06 Apr 2021 09:20:03 +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 11:28:20 +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 08:21:22 +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 11:58:15 +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 <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 14:07:36 +0000 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 Fri, 17 Jul 2020 09:03:20 +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 10:56:55 +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 17:56:43 +0000 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 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 17:17:13 +0000