U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Ecosphere (2023)14: e4728

doi: 10.1002/ecs2.4728

Handling editor: Alessio Mortelliti

Supplemental files: https://zenodo.org/records/7908800


United States government work


License: CC BY 4.0


Daily activity patterns of animals can be dynamic across seasons in response to changing environmental conditions. Daily activity, though, has rarely been evaluated in relation to multiple factors (for example, seasons, demographics, and data collection methods), which could be important for understanding what drives activity patterns. Here, we evaluated the daily activity patterns of a widespread invasive species, wild pigs (Sus scrofa), across two ecologically different study areas at Buck Island Ranch, Florida, and Tejon Ranch, California (United States), from 2015 to 2018. Using GPS telemetry data (62 individuals in Florida, 21 individuals in California) and detections from grids of systematically placed motion-activated cameras (44 cameras in Florida, 48 cameras in California), we compared activity patterns among seasons, sexes, and data collection methods (GPS and camera traps). Overall, wild pigs were mostly active during crepuscular and nocturnal periods, with their lowest activity during diurnal periods; however, activity patterns varied due to several factors. Daily activity patterns were similar between methods, among seasons, and between sexes in the subtropical climate of Florida. In contrast, daily activity patterns exhibited greater differences between methods and among seasons in California, where seasonal differences in temperature and precipitation were more pronounced. Overall, daily activity patterns estimated using GPS telemetry and camera-based methods not only exhibited a high degree of overlap in several comparisons but also exhibited marked differences that should be recognized. Given the increasing evaluation of daily activity patterns of animals using multiple types of datasets, our study provides ecologists with valuable information to consider when designing ecological studies, interpreting their results, and comparing research across systems and studies.