European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 53–59 | Cite as

Long-term automatic video recording as a tool for analysing the time patterns of utilisation of predefined locations by wild animals

  • Klaus Manfred Scheibe
  • Knut Eichhorn
  • Martina Wiesmayr
  • Beate Schonert
  • Oliver Krone
Original Paper


The design and application of automatic video recording systems for wild animals are described. Such systems enable continuous, long-time and repercussion-free surveillance of selected areas in the field. The performance characteristics of a conventional VHS video-tape system are compared to a digital video recording system. The recordings were used to develop daily and annual plots of occurrence for the different species and to display the preferences for darkness, twilight and light phase by the different species over the year. Absolute utilisation frequency as well as relative species composition can be obtained and compared between seasons or different places. The videos also were analysed for time budgets of basic behaviour patterns like feeding, walking, observing, social interaction, flight and comfort behaviour. Automatic video technique is a highly convenient tool for systematic long-term field research on occurrence of wild animal species, daily and annual activity rhythms, behaviour and area utilisation. Such systems can be applied especially to record animals at clearings, feeding or bait places, water sources, salt licks or traps.


Deer Game Wildlife Field method Camera 



The results of the study were achieved during the research project “Resting areas for wildlife in Brandenburg,” supported by the Ministry for Rural Development, Environment and Consumer Protection Brandenburg (MLUV) by funding from hunting taxes. We acknowledge the kind support of the forest administration Groß Schönebeck, especially of the commissioner of wood and forest, Mr. K. Diezel.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Manfred Scheibe
    • 1
  • Knut Eichhorn
    • 1
  • Martina Wiesmayr
    • 1
  • Beate Schonert
    • 1
  • Oliver Krone
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife ResearchBerlinGermany

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