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The activity patterns of 4 forest predator species were monitored, using infrared-triggered cameras, within a 1318-ha study area in East Texas. We recorded 161 photographic capture events in 1925 trap-nights over 17 weeks. Photographic capture events included 18 Lynx rufus (Bobcat), 109 Procyon lotor (Raccoon), 21 Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum), and 13 Canis latrans (Coyote). We developed an easily replicated method of measuring time on a percent scale to compare activity data over several months, accounting for changes in sunrise and sunset times. Bobcat activity was 38.9% crepuscular and 22.1% diurnal. The activity of the other 3 species was mostly nocturnal: Raccoon 94.5%, Virginia Opossum 100%, and Coyote 77%. Moon phase based on percentage of visible light did not affect either Raccoon or Virginia Opossum nocturnal activity level.


Permission to post from the open access Southeastern Naturalist journal. This article appeared in the Proceedings of the 5th Big Thicket Science Conference: Changing Landscapes and Changing Climate 2014, Southeastern Naturalist 13 (Special Issue 5) pages 172-183



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