ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2013, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 50–55. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2013.
Published in Russian in Ekologiya, 2013, No. 1, pp. 53–59.
Daily activity pattern is an important, genetically
determined characteristic of a species (Aschoff, 1963).
Animals are capable of modifying their activity pat
terns under the influence of various environmental
factors, including anthropogenic stress. Thus, daily
activity patterns can be viewed as an environmental
stress indicator (Roth, 1983). We can judge the degree
of anthropogenic influence on the environment by
changes in daily activity patterns of bears.
Quantitative data collection on activity patterns of
bears using traditional methodologies (tracking, visual
observation) is difficult because there are few opportu
nities to observe individuals for entire 24hour periods.
Bears move over great distances throughout the day,
and visual observation is difficult during nighttime
hours. In forested landscapes such as the SikhoteAlin
Mountains, where bears are wary of humans, long
term visual observation is nearly impossible.
The introduction of radiotelemetry facilitates
activity data collection. This method allows us to
determine the animal’s status (active or inactive) from
a distance over regular time intervals. It has been suc
cessfully employed for bears in North America (Craig
head, Craighead, 1965; Amstrup, Beecham, 1976)
and Western Europe (Roth, 1983; Bjarvall, Sandegren,
1987; Clevenger et al., 1990). This study represents the
first time we activity data has been obtained for brown
bears in Russia using radiotelemetry. Previous studies
have been based mainly on visual observations during
The article was translated by the authors.
daylight hours (Bobyr, 1991; Chernyavsky, Krechmar,
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Motionsensitive radiocollars (MOD–400 and
MOD–500, Telonics, Inc.) allow us to determine an
animal’s activity status (active or inactive) via different
transmission modes. In the inactive state, the collar
transmits 5 signals per 5 seconds. Upon motion, the
collar switches to the active mode, transmitting 7 sig
nals per 5 seconds. The lag time in switching back to
the inactive mode is 2 minutes after activity has
ceased. This lag effectively helps avoid detection of
short inactive periods, which were not a sign of the
animal’s switching to the passive state.
To determine daily activity patterns, we used two
different data sets. The first data set was collected dur
ing continuous radiomonitoring during relatively
long periods (up to several days) of a particular indi
vidual. Over the entire monitoring session, the activity
status (active or inactive) was reported once every
5 minutes. Thus, without loss of signal, 12 observations
were taken every hour (288 observations per 24 hour
period). Using this method, 14501 observations were
made during 1993–2006 on 13 individuals (7 males
and 6 females). Eleven bears were adults at the time of
the study, and 2 were juveniles but living indepen
The second data set was comprised of activity data
obtained when determining locations of individuals
via telemetry. When taking telemetry data from the air,
Daily Activity Patterns of Brown Bear (
of the SikhoteAlin Mountain Range (Primorskiy Krai, Russia)
I. V. Seryodkin
, A. V. Kostyria
, J. M. Goodrich
, and D. G. Miquelle
Pacific Institute of Geography, FEB RAS 690041 Russian Federation, Vladivostok, Radio St., 7
Institute of Biology and Soil Science, FEB RA 690022 Vladivostok, Russian Federation, Stoletiya St., 159
Wildlife Conservation Society, 10460 USA, NewYork
—Daily activity patterns of brown bears were monitored using radiotelemetry from 1993 to 2006, in
the SikhoteAlin Biosphere Reserve and adjacent areas. Outside of the denning period, bears were active for
approximately 52% of the 24hour period. Males were more active (64% of total time) than females (51%).
Brown bears in the SikhoteAlin are diurnal and crepuscular, but switch to a nocturnal pattern in areas of high
anthropogenic influence. During the summer months, daily activity patterns were influenced by precipita
tion, cloud cover, and air temperature.
: brown bear, daily activity patterns, radiocollar, radiotelemetry, SikhoteAlin