Sergey S. Ogurtsov, Researcher of the Central Forest State Nature Biosphere Reserve; Russia (172521, Tver region, Nelidovo district, Zapovednyi settlement); e-mail:
Anatoliy S. Zheltukhin, PhD, Deputy Director on Scientific work of the Central Forest State Nature Biosphere Reserve (Russia, 172521, Tver region, Nelidovo district, Zapovednyi settlement); e-mail:
Ivan P. Kotlov, Researcher of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS (Russia, 123181, Moscow, Street marsh. Katukova, 21-1-117); e-mail:

Reference to article

Ogurtsov S.S., Zheltukhin A.S., Kotlov I.P. 2018. Daily activity patterns of large and medium-sized mammals based on camera traps data in the Central Forest Nature Reserve, Valdai Upland, Russia. Nature Conservation Research 3(2): 68–88. DOI: 10.24189/ncr.2018.031

Section Resarch articles

Here are presented the results of the analysis of daily activity patterns obtained from the data of camera traps for five large mammals (elk Alces alces, wild boar Sus scrofa, brown bear Ursus arctos, grey wolf Canis lupus, Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx) and three medium ones (European badger Meles meles, raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides, mountain hare Lepus timidus) for the territory of the Central Forest Nature Reserve, Valdai Upland, Russia. Data were collected in the period 2010–2017 and the trap effort was 30 158 camera days from 21 locations. Most of the mammals surveyed showed activity at night and twilight hours (71% of the pictures). The hare was most active among all and dominant at night. In many respects it is similar to the activity of a raccoon dog, which type can be defined as nocturnal too. Unlike a hare, a raccoon dog has a weak peak in the daytime and less activity in the night. Badgers movements are confined to the twilight and nighttime. The share of nocturnal activity of large ungulates such as elk and wild boar was approximately the same and amounted to about 45% of all registrations. The wild boar is slightly more active during the day and in the evening and is not active at all in the morning. The elk is active in the morning, and in the daytime and to a lesser extent in the evening. The lynx and the bear have similar cathemeral activity patterns: almost half of all their meetings occurred at daylight hours and only slightly – less than 40% – at night. The brown bear had the maximum number of registrations in the daytime among all the studied species. Despite the fact that the main object of lynx feeding in the reserve is the hare, there was no high degree of overlap between them (γˆ = 0.75). In the group of large carnivores, the wolf was noticeably distinguished, more than half of its registrations were at night, and a third – on daytime. Daily activities of the wolf and its main prey elk showed a large overlap (γˆ = 0.89). The seasonal variations of daily activity of all species were also shown. According to the results of factor analysis, each of the studied species was divided into one of three separate groups. The first group included species with a tendency to nocturnal activity (wolf, elk, hare, badger, and raccoon dog), the second group – cathemeral animals (bear and lynx). In the third group was only the wild boar, whose activity was associated with the evening hours. This is the first long-term continuous camera trap survey in Russia and it provides detailed daily activity patterns for multiple large and medium-sized sympatric mammals.


activity patterns, camera traps, Central Forest Nature Reserve, daily activity, large carnivores, noninvasive methods

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