Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 322-337

First online:

Estimating overlap of daily activity patterns from camera trap data

  • M. S. RidoutAffiliated withInstitute of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Kent Email author 
  • , M. LinkieAffiliated withDurrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Data from camera traps that record the time of day at which photographs are taken are used widely to study daily activity patterns of photographed species. It is often of interest to compare activity patterns, for example, between males and females of a species or between a predator and a prey species. In this article we propose that the similarity between two activity patterns may be quantified by a measure of the extent to which the patterns overlap. Several methods of estimating this overlap measure are described and their comparative performance for activity data is investigated in a simulation study. The methods are illustrated by comparing activity patterns of three sympatric felid species using data from camera traps in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra.

Key Words

Circular data Clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) Golden cat (Catopuma Temminckii) Kernel density estimation Overlap coefficient Sumatran tiger (Panthera Tigris) Trigonometric sum distribution