Journal of African Ornithology

ISSN: 0030-6525 (Print)
            1727-947X (Online)
Publication frequency: 3 issues per year

Impact Factor: 0.833 (2016)
5-year Impact Factor: 0.662 (2016)

Accredited with the DHET (SAPSE)

Official scientific journal of BirdLife South AfricaCo-published with Taylor & FrancisClick here for Open Access options on this journal

Aims & Scope

Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology is a scientific journal published by NISC in association with BirdLife South Africa. Ostrich is an international journal that publishes papers in the general field of ornithology in Africa and its islands. The journal publishes peer-reviewed original scientific papers (3 000 to 10 000 words) and short articles of <2 000 words. Results of studies of the behaviour, biology, breeding, ecology, migrations and movements, and systematics of birds are published. Extended taxonomic reviews will not be considered unless they include relevant discussion of behavioural or ecological criteria.


Scientific Editor

Dr Alan Lee
DST-NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town
e-mail: alan.tk.lee@googlemail.com

Associate Editors

Dr Mark Brown School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Dr Alexandre Caron CIRAD - UPR AGIRs. Department Environment and Societies, Harare, Zimbabwe
Dr Robert JM Crawford Department of Environmental Affairs, Cape Town, South Africa, and Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Soladaye B. Iwajomo Ecotoxicology and Conservation Unit, University of Lagos
Dr Genevieve Jones Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr J. Kemper African Penguin Conservation Project, Namibia   
Dr Rob Little Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Michel Louette Zilversparrenstraat 23, B 8310, Brugge, Belgium
Prof. Ara Monadjem Department of Biological Sciences, University of Swaziland, Swaziland
Dr Graeme Oatley Department of Zoology and Anthropology, Palacký University of Olomouc, Czech Republic
Dr Ulf Ottosson Ottenby Bird Observatory, Degerhamn, Sweden
Dr Amanda Ridley Centre for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia
Dr Lizanne Roxburgh Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Richard Sherley Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, United Kingdom
Dr Stuart Taylor The School of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand      

Book Review Editors

Prof. Colleen T Downs School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Susan Mvungi Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract Translators

Dr Saad Hanane Forest Research Centre, Chariae Omar Ibn Al Khattab, BP 763, Rabat-Agdal, Morocco
Dr Imad Cherkaoui Moulay Ismail University (Ecole Supérieure de Technologie de Khénifra), Morocco

Social Media Manager

Chevonne Reynolds Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


All manuscripts presented in accordance with instructions to authors should be
submitted to the online at the Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology ScholarOne Manuscripts site (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tost).

Publishing Manager

Contact regarding all aspects relating to the production of the journal, including scheduling and copyright issues:

Mike Schramm
NISC (Pty) Ltd
4 Speke Street
PO Box 377
Grahamstown 6140
South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)46 622 9698
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 9550
e-mail: publishing@nisc.co.za

Published in association with BirdLife South Africa:

BirdLife South Africa (http://www.birdlife.org.za/) is the lead organisation in South Africa for everyone interested in birds and their survival. It has 8 000 members in 40 branches and affiliates throughout South Africa. Their mission is to promote the enjoyment, conservation and understanding and study of wild birds and their habitat. BirdLife South Africa runs national and branch programmes on conservation, education, training and awareness.

For more information about membership to BirdLife South Africa contact:

The Secretariat
PO Box 515
Randburg 2125
South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 789 1122
Fax: +27 (0)11 789 5188
e-mail: membership@birdlife.co.za

Latest Issue

Volume 88, Issue 2, 2017


Decline of African vultures: a need for studies and conservation
Author(s): Jean-Marc ThiollayCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
Pages: iii–iii


“He always published his findings” – a tribute to André Francois Boshoff (1945–2016)
Author(s): Graham KerleyCentre for African Conservation Ecology, South Africa
Pages: v–vii

Research Article

Status of birds of prey in Guinea-Bissau: first assessment based on road surveys
Author(s): Mohamed HenriquesMarine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE), Portugal, Miguel LecoqBirdLife International, Senegal, Hamilton MonteiroCoastal Planning Office, Guinea-Bissau, Aissa RegallaInstituto da Biodiversidade e Áreas Protegidas (IBAP), Guinea-Bissau, José P GranadeiroCentro de estudos do ambiente e do mar (CESAM), Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências, Portugal, Paulo CatryMarine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE), Portugal
Pages: 101–111
Ecology and behaviour of Palm-nut Vultures Gypohierax angolensis in the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau
Author(s): Camilo CarneiroDepartment of Biology and CESAM, Portugal, Mohamed HenriquesFaculty of Sciences, Portugal, Castro BarbosaInstitute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, Quintino TchantchalamInstitute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, Aissa RegallaInstitute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, Ana R PatrícioCentre for Ecology and Conservation, UK, Paulo CatryMARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Portugal
Pages: 113–121
White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus parental care and chick growth rates assessed by camera traps and morphometric measurements
Author(s): Machawe I MaphalalaSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Ara MonadjemDepartment of Biological Sciences, Swaziland
Pages: 123–129
The decline of an urban Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus population in Dakar, Senegal, over 50 years
Author(s): Wim C Mullié, Senegal, François-Xavier CouziSociété d’Etudes Ornithologiques de la Réunion, France, Moussa Sega DiopAfriWet Consultants, Senegal, Bram PiotCité Ndiatte Almadies, Senegal, Theo PetersRoyal Netherlands Embassy, Senegal, Pierre A Reynaud275 Rue Robert Schuman, France, Jean-Marc Thiollay2 Rue de la Rivière, France
Pages: 131–138
Productivity of the declining Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus population in southern Africa
Author(s): Sonja C KrügerEzemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa, Arjun AmarFitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, South Africa
Pages: 139–145
Unearthing poison use and consequent anecdotal vulture mortalities in Namibia’s commercial farmland – implications for conservation
Author(s): Andrea SantangeliHelsinki Laboratory of Ornithology, Finnish Museum of Natural History, Finland, Volen ArkumarevBulgarian Society for Protection of Birds/BirdLife Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Liz KomenNamibia Animal Rehabilitation Research and Education Centre, Namibia, Peter BridgefordVultures Namibia, Namibia, Holger KolbergDirectorate Scientific Services, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia
Pages: 147–154
Visitors to nests of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus in northeastern South Africa
Author(s): Lindy J ThompsonSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, John P DaviesLawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris, South Africa, Maja GudehusSelati Private Game Reserve, South Africa, André J BothaEndangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa, Keith L BildsteinAcopian Centre for Conservation Learning, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, USA, Campbell MurnHawk Conservancy Trust, UK, Colleen T DownsSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 155–162

Short Note

SAFRING longevity and movement records for southern African vultures (subfamilies Aegypiinae and Gypaetinae)
Author(s): Dane M PaijmansAnimal Demography Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, South Africa, Sarah CattoAnimal Demography Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, South Africa, H Dieter OschadleusAnimal Demography Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 163–166
Sexual dimorphism and plumage characteristics of juvenile Cape Vultures Gyps coprotheres
Author(s): Nobuhle T MabhikwaDepartment of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management, Zimbabwe, Margaret T HirschauerVulPro NPO, South Africa, Kerri WolterVulPro NPO, South Africa
Pages: 167–171
Kalahari vulture declines, through the eyes of meerkats
Author(s): Jack B ThorleyDepartment of Zoology, UK, Tim Clutton-BrockDepartment of Zoology, UK
Pages: 177–181
Removal (and attempted removal) of material from a Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus nest by a starling and a Hooded Vulture
Author(s): Lindy J ThompsonSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, John P DaviesLawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris, South Africa, Keith L BildsteinAcopian Centre for Conservation Learning, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, USA, Colleen T DownsSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 183–187


The creation of the SAVE consortium – Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction: a possible model for Africa?
Author(s): Christopher GR BowdenGlobally Threatened Species Recovery Unit, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK
Pages: 189–193


Instructions for Authors

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Author FAQ


Instructions for Authors

The journal will publish refereed scientific papers and short communications (<2 000 words) containing the results of original work and review articles within the general field of ornithology in Africa and its islands. Extended taxonomic reviews will not be considered unless they include relevant discussion of behavioural or ecological criteria; if in doubt, please consult the Scientific Editor. Reviews of relevant books will also be published. All communications, with the exception of book reviews, will be scrutinised by referees.

Editorial policy: Contributions must conform to the principles outlined in Ethical Considerations in Research Publication available for download below. Submission of a manuscript implies that the material has not been published previously, nor is it being submitted elsewhere for publication. Submission of a manuscript will be taken to imply transfer of copyright of the material to the publishers, NISC. Contributions are accepted on the understanding that the authors have the authority for publication. Material published in this journal may not be reprinted, published in translation or mounted on any electronic repository without the express permission of the publishers, NISC (Pty) Ltd.

Manuscripts: All manuscripts should follow the manuscript format outlined below and will be returned to the authors if not. Manuscripts should be submitted in English in MS Word via Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology ScholarOne Manuscripts site. New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Should you have difficulty submitting material online, please notify the Scientific Editor, Dr Lizanne Roxburgh, at ostrich@nisc.co.za. A recent issue of Ostrich should be consulted for general layout and style.

Manuscript format: Sections — All pages must be numbered consecutively, including those containing the references, tables and figures. Authors must also insert line numbering. Text should be divided into the following sections and appear in this order:
(1) Abstract (not exceeding 200 words)
(2) Keywords
(3) Introduction
(4) Materials and methods
(5) Results
(6) Discussion
(7) Acknowledgements
(8) References
(9) Tables
(10) Appendices
(11) Figure legends
(12) Figures
Short Communications should include an Abstract and Keywords.

Figures — Ensure figures conform to the journal style. Pay particular attention to line thickness, font and figure proportions, taking into account the journals printed page size. Costs of redrawing figures may be charged. Please refer to Figure Guidelines for Authors: format, technical considerations and style available for download below. For digital photographs or scanned images the resolution should be at least 300 dpi for colour or greyscale artwork and a minimum of 600 dpi for black line drawings. These can be saved (in order of preference) as PSD, TIFF, EPS, PDF or JPEG files. Graphs, charts or maps should be exported as AI, WMF, EMF, EPS, PDF or SVG files. MS Powerpoint and Excel files are acceptable. If submitting figures in a MS Word document use ‘Insert Picture from File’ (do not copy and paste, or embed the artwork). More detailed technical information is given in Figure Guidelines for Authors. Illustrations can be reproduced in colour, but only when essential, and subject to approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Non-essential use of colour will be charged at ZAR900 (excl. VAT) per page for African contributors and USD150 per page for contributors from elsewhere.

Tables — Each table, numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are to appear, must be on a separate page with the table number and an appropriate stand-alone caption. Tables may include up to five horizontal lines but no vertical lines.

References — References to literature within an article must be arranged chronologically in the following forms: Swart (1972); Swart (1972a, 1972b); Swart and White (1973); Swart (1972, 1973); (Swart 1970, Smith 1971). For more than two authors, use the first author’s name followed by et al. (e.g. Urban et al. 1997). At the end of the manuscript list references alphabetically and then chronologically, using full journal titles, and adhere to the following formats:

Payne RB, Payne LL. 1997. Field observations, experimental design, and the time and place of learning in bird songs. In: Snowdon C, Hausberger M (eds), Social influences on vocal development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp 57–84.

Urban EK, Fry CH, Keith S (eds). 1997. The birds of Africa, vol. 5. London: Academic Press.

Vergara P, Aguirre JI, Fernández-Cruz M. 2007. Arrival date, age and breeding success in White Stork Ciconia ciconia. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 573–579.

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa (and other such edited regional works): Please note that when referencing a single species account, the author of that account should be cited, for example:
du Plessis MA. 2005. Green Woodhoopoe. In: Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ, Ryan PG (eds), Roberts birds of southern Africa (7th edn). Cape Town: Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. pp 162–164.
However, when referencing multiple accounts (e.g. extracting clutch-size data) the entire volume should be cited:
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ, Ryan PG (eds). 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa (7th edn). Cape Town: Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund.

Conventions: The English name of a species is capitalised (e.g. Southern Brown-throated Weaver) but not the name of a group of species (e.g. robins, weavers). Scientific names of genera and species – but not family names – and foreign words should be italicised. Trinomials may be used only when accurately known and essential to the results and discussion. Both the English and scientific names must be cited when a species is first mentioned but thereafter only one need be used. The English and scientific names of a species recorded from southern Africa should be those used in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa VIIth Edition (2005). For other regions, English and scientific names should be taken from The Birds of Africa (1982 onwards) or an authoritative regional checklist. Metric symbols and their international symbols are used throughout as is the decimal point and the 24-hour clock (e.g. 08:00, 17:25). Dates should be written as 13 July 1973. Ranges should have an en dash (3–5 km). There should be a space before unit terms (23 °C, 5 kg, 5 kg d–¹ etc.) except for percentages (5%). Use ‘mass’ instead of ‘weight’. The UK spelling convention should be followed. There should be a single space between sentences. The period (.) must be used as the decimal indicator, and spaces must appear before the third digit to the left of the decimal point (e.g. 1 234.56 g). Thousands/millions should be marked with a space and not a comma. The significance of statistical tests should be written in the form p < 0.001, and use ns for not significant.

Electronic reprints: Authors will be notified by e-mail when their article is available for download from the Taylor & Francis website.

Open access: Ostrich is a hybrid journal which allows authors the option of publishing their article Open Access for a set fee. Further details are given on the Open Access at NISC page. 


Instructions for Authors

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Figure Guidelines for Authors

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Figure FAQs

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