Ministry of Environment and Tourism

Windhoek, Namibia

Ministry of Environment and Tourism

Windhoek, Namibia
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Brodie J.F.,University of Montana | Muntifering J.,Apple Inc | Hearn M.,Save the Rhino Trust | Hearn M.,University of Kent | And 6 more authors.
Animal Conservation | Year: 2011

Curtailing overharvest, whether illegal or legal, is often a critical conservation objective. Yet even if overexploitation can be stopped, subsequent rates of population recovery can be highly variable due to Allee effects, alterations to age and sex structure and disruptions of animal social systems. Moreover, understanding the influence of density dependence can be difficult but important for long-term management. Here, we investigate the dynamics of black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis in the Kunene region of Namibia as they recover from illegal hunting. We use multi-strata mark-recapture models to examine survival and stage-transition rates from 1992 to 2005. Survivorship estimates ranged from 0.793 for calves to 0.910 for adult males and 0.944 for adult females. The annual reproductive rate in adult females was estimated at 0.315. Model selection showed that these vital rates were time invariant, suggesting that Allee effects and transient dynamics did not have an important effect upon population dynamics, even in the early stages of recovery. Relative population density increased significantly from 1992 to 2005 once illegal hunting had ceased in Kunene. However, the best-fit models did not include relative density in the estimation of survival or stage-transition rates. We then used the vital rates generated from our mark-recapture analysis to build matrix projection models that assessed overall population dynamics. The female-only model gave a population growth rate estimate of λ=1.011. Two-sex models suggest that the growth rate of the population could range from 0.990 to 1.012. The relatively slow growth rate of this population, even without hunting or density dependence, could stem from the low productivity of the region. Adult females had the highest reproductive value and their survival had the highest elasticity among vital rates. Translocating adult females would lead to the fastest initial population growth rate in founder populations but would have the most impact on the source population. © 2011 The Authors. Animal Conservation © 2011 The Zoological Society of London.

Hipondoka M.H.T.,University of Namibia | Dalal-Clayton D.B.,Environment and Development Services EDS International | van Gils H.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal | Year: 2016

Ten strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) were undertaken in Namibia between 2008 and 2013, although it is not yet a legal mandate. Efforts are currently underway to establish a formal instrument for SEA processes. To inform the drafting of such regulations or at the request of proponents, seven of these SEAs were reviewed using a methodology developed for the OECD-DAC and based on principles of SEA good practice. The reviews examined the processes followed by the SEAs, appraised stakeholders’ reflections, and assessed the outcomes and contributions to decision-making. Although all analysed SEAs delivered on their respective terms of references (ToRs), inadequacies encountered were largely attributed to shortcomings in their ToRs. They showed inadequate public consultation or strategic dimension; failed to address alternatives to, and cumulative effects of, the policy, plan or programme assessed; and paid limited attention to synergies or antagonisms. The majority had some influence on decision-making and proposed monitoring procedures for identified mitigation measures. SEA regulations and measures to strengthen institutional and human capacity to sustain effective SEA application are critically needed in Namibia. © 2016 IAIA

van Coeverden de Groot P.J.,Queen's University | Putnam A.S.,San Diego Zoo Global | Erb P.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism | Scott C.,Queen's University | And 3 more authors.
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2011

Poaching and habitat destruction across sub-Saharan Africa brought the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) close to extinction. Over the past few decades, however, one of four subspecies, D. b. bicornis, has experienced a significant population increase as a consequence of its protection within Etosha National Park (ENP), Namibia. We report here on the level and spatial distribution of black rhinoceros genetic diversity within ENP. Using nine microsatellite loci, genetic variation was assessed from 144 individuals. Our results are consistent with the observation of lower levels of genetic diversity in D. b. bicornis, when compared to D. b. michaeli, but greater diversity when compared to D. b. minor. We also showed that ENP's black rhino genetic diversity is well represented in Waterberg National Park, originally founded with ENP individuals. We found no genetic signature of a recent bottleneck in ENP, however, suggesting that the genetic diversity within ENP has not been adversely affected by the recent severe population decline. Using Bayesian clustering methods, we observed no significant population structure within ENP, but positive spatial genetic correlation is observed at distances up to 25 km. This relationship exists in females but not males, suggesting reduced dispersal among females, the first evidence of limited female dispersal or philopatry in any species of rhinoceros. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

David A.,Integrated Environmental Consultants Namibia | Braby J.,Integrated Environmental Consultants Namibia | Zeidler J.,Integrated Environmental Consultants Namibia | Kandjinga L.,Integrated Environmental Consultants Namibia | Ndokosho J.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism
International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management | Year: 2013

Purpose: This community based initiative seeks to increase communities' adaptive capacity through the development of resilient farming practices and improved natural resource management in the face of climate change. Integrating the basic aspects on climate information, the project toolkit had two main objectives; firstly it increases community awareness about climate change risks to farmers and natural resource users, and secondly it aims to build momentum at community levels for innovative adaptation tools as applicable to their environments. These toolkits are applicable to the rural communities, peri-urban and communities across Namibia. Design/methodology/approach: Participatory rural appraisal methods were used to solicit inputs from the local people during the toolkits development process. Resource mapping, root analysis of climate impacts, and gender mainstreaming were key to this project. A total of 30 community consultations were held in 12 constituencies in all the regions. About 200 people per region were consulted. Their selection was based on their day-to-day engagement with community members - these included community activists, farmers, local NGOs as well as governmental civil servants and resource users. Findings: The main outcomes of the project were the compilation of the climate change toolkits, as well as outreach materials such as a video for training of trainers events on climate change adaptation, posters, and radio talks in the different regions. The toolkits are in the process of being implemented, and there are positive reports from the regions where they have been distributed. Originality/value: This paper is a synopsis of the experiences from Namibia's climate change adaptation toolkits and offers insights relevant to many other African countries, and how these can be improved to make climate change adaptation work especially in the rural areas. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Chasek P.,International Institute for Sustainable Development | Chasek P.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Chasek P.,Manhattan College | Safriel U.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2015

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012, governments adopted "The Future We Want" outcome document, which recognized (in paragraph 206) "the need for urgent action to reverse land degradation. In view of this we will strive to achieve a land-degradation neutral world...." This paragraph sets a goal of maintaining a world where the total amount of degraded land remains constant, and that would secure the currently available productive land for the use of present and future generations.This article examines the challenges of operationalizing this concept of Zero Net Land Degradation (ZNLD) and its global derivative, a land degradation neutral world (LDNW).First, the concept and need for ZNLD is introduced and explained. Then we look at the expectations from ZNLD/LDNW targets within the context of promoting the recognition of land degradation as a global threat and contributing to global food security. Next we elaborate the challenges in making ZNLD operational, including: scoping (determining the spatial scale and the selected domain for which land degradation neutrality is to be achieved); mapping (classifying the lands by their current use and state of their productivity); prescribing (prescribing management practices relevant to each of the land classes); applying the selected land management (for either reducing degradation, restoring productivity, or increasing resilience); and monitoring management and its outcome.We then examine the enabling environment necessary to capture ZNLD opportunities and address the technical challenges facing the operationalization of ZNLD. The article concludes with recommendations for the way forward: first, recognize existing projects suitable for ZNLD testing and establish new pilot projects at the local community or landscape scales; and the second, seek recognition and support for achieving ZNLD at the global scale through the United Nations system. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Capobianco Dondona A.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Dell Abruzzo E Del Molise G Caporale | Aschenborn O.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism | Pinoni C.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Dell Abruzzo E Del Molise G Caporale | Di Gialleonardo L.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Dell Abruzzo E Del Molise G Caporale | And 6 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2016

After a May 2011 outbreak of Rift Valley fever among livestock northeast of Etosha National Park, Namibia, wild ruminants in the park were tested for the virus. Antibodies were detected in springbok, wildebeest, and black-faced impala, and viral RNA was detected in springbok. Seroprevalence was high, and immune response was long lasting. © 2016, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All rights reseved.

Dumbacher J.P.,California Academy of Sciences | Rathbun G.B.,California Academy of Sciences | Osborne T.O.,California Academy of Sciences | Griffin M.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism | Eiseb S.J.,National Museum of Namibia
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2014

While studying the systematics and taxonomy of round-eared sengis (genus Macroscelides), we identified an unusual specimen from remote northwestern Namibia in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. To determine if this represented a different species, we made 9 collecting trips with 5,616 trap-nights of effort that produced 16 voucher specimens (including the original specimen) of the unusual sengi. These specimens are distinguished from other Macroscelides species by morphological metrics (they are smaller), external features (rusty-tinged pelage, large subcaudal gland, and lack of dark skin pigment), and by divergence at 3 independently segregating DNA loci. These traits are the basis for the description of a new species of Macroscelides that seems to be confined to gravel plains associated with the distinctive reddish colored Etendeka geological formation of northwestern Namibia. The new species appears to be reproductively isolated from congeners, because portions of its distribution are sympatric with that of the Namib round-eared sengi (M. flavicaudatus), and we found no evidence of hybrid individuals or gene flow. The new species is allopatric with the Karoo round-eared sengi (M. proboscideus), which is found about 500 km to the south. The new species, along with M. flavicaudatus, is endemic to Namibia. With this 3rd species in the genus, there are now 19 recognized extant species in the order Macroscelidea. © 2014 American Society of Mammalogists.

Simmons R.E.,University of Cape Town | Kolberg H.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism | Braby R.,Namibian Coast Conservation and Management Project | Erni B.,University of Cape Town
Conservation Biology | Year: 2015

Many long-distance migrating shorebird (i.e., sandpipers, plovers, flamingos, oystercatchers) populations are declining. Although regular shorebird monitoring programs exist worldwide, most estimates of shorebird population trends and sizes are poor or nonexistent. We built a state-space model to estimate shorebird population trends. Compared with more commonly used methods of trend estimation, state-space models are more mechanistic, allow for the separation of observation and state process, and can easily accommodate multivariate time series and nonlinear trends. We fitted the model to count data collected from 1990 to 2013 on 18 common shorebirds at the 2 largest coastal wetlands in southern Africa, Sandwich Harbour (a relatively pristine bay) and Walvis Bay (an international harbor), Namibia. Four of the 12 long-distance migrant species declined since 1990: Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), Little Stint (Calidris minuta), Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), and Red Knot (Calidris canutus). Populations of resident species and short-distance migrants increased or were stable. Similar patterns at a key South African wetland suggest that shorebird populations migrating to southern Africa are declining in line with the global decline, but local conditions in southern Africa's largest wetlands are not contributing to these declines. State-space models provide estimates of population levels and trends and could be used widely to improve the current state of water bird estimates. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

Alexander K.A.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | McNutt J.W.,Predator Conservation Trust | Briggs M.B.,African Predator Conservation Research Organization | Standers P.E.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism | And 4 more authors.
Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

A retrospective serosurvey of multi-host feline and canine viruses among carnivore species in southern Africa (n=1018) identified widespread pathogen exposure even in remote protected areas. In contrast to mortality experienced in East African predators, canine distemper virus (CDV) infection among African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in Botswana was not associated with identifiable change in pup survivorship or disease related mortality of adults. A disease outbreak of unknown aetiology occurred in the same population over 4 weeks in 1996. Outbreak boundaries coincided with ecotones, not the spatial distribution of contiguous packs, highlighting the potential importance of landscape heterogeneities in these processes. Direct management of pathogens in domestic animal reservoirs is complicated by the apparent complexity of pathogen maintenance and transmission in these large systems. Conservation effort should be focused at securing large metapopulations able to compensate for expected episodic generalist pathogen invasion and attention directed to addressing underlying causes of population depression such as habitat loss and wildlife conflict. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

Stein A.B.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Erckie B.,Ministry of Environment and Tourism | Fuller T.K.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Marker L.,Conservation Fund
Pachyderm | Year: 2010

For species with unique markings, camera trapping has been used as a non-invasive method for generating population estimates and monitoring the fate of particular individuals. Rhinos-both black (Diceros bicornis) and white (Ceratotherium simum)-bave unique horn sizes, shapes and scarring, making camera trapping a monitoring technique that could be useful. Over a 7-week period during 2006 in the Waterberg Plateau Park (WPP) in Namibia, we obtained 125 photos of rhinos from 11 camera stations during 545 camera nights, about half of which were useful in identifying 18 individual black rhinos and 13 white rhinos. Additional coverage of the Park could lead to more complete counts that would complement ongoing monitoring efforts.

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