In view of the alarmingly high losses which frequently occur as a result of capture myopathy during translocation of game animals, it was decided to investigate the main physiological and biochemical changes which occur during capture stress. In a series of experiments with eight springbok which were captured in drop nets, it was shown that a marked increase in rectal temperature, cardiac rate and respiration rate occured.
On the basis of both field observations of nestine birds and detailed chemical and morphological studies on 10 birds (5 male and 5 female) per month, it would appear as if P. namaqua favours the cooler winter months for breeding in the Namib Desert Park. In view of the simple nature of the nest scrape and studies on the thermoregulatory behaviour of this species, we have concluded that soil-surface temperatures play a critical role in determining the success of breeding.
The endemic Damara tern breeds at several sites along the South West African coast. In view of developments within its restricted range and its apparent scarcity studies were undertaken to assess the status and requirements of the species. Estimates of population size, aspects of the bird's breeding biology, and its conservation are discussed.
The diet of two related Namib Desert sand lizards (Lacertidae) was examined by monthly stomach analyses during 1976 - 77. Meroles cuneirostris, a species of the sandy vegetated interdune valleys, is strictly carnivorous and consumes a wide variety (13 orders) of arthropods, mainly insects. The second species, Aporosausa anchietae, lives in the sparsely vegetated sand dunes, and its diet varies from omnivory to carnivory, depending on geographic location. Grass and Trianthema seeds are an important part of the omnivorous diet, especially during periods of low insect abundance. Differences in the diet of these two Lizards are related to the relative prey abundance in their respective habitats.
Aspects of the faunal composition and ecology of a recently dried-up lagoon in the Conception Bay area are discussed. The reasons for the demise of the lagoon are speculated on, and related to similar changes in coastal structures at several other localities on the South West African coast.