We used program CAPTURE to analyze 1,535 capture–recapture data sets from 33 species of small mammals for sources of variation in capture probabilities and to characterize species-specific responses to mark–recapture trapping. Program CAPTURE contains 8 models to account for all possible combinations of heterogeneity (h), behavioral response (b), and time (t) effects on capture probabilities. Model Mo (equal capture probabilities) was selected most often by CAPTURE as the most appropriate model for small sample sizes, reflecting the difficulty of detecting unequal probabilities of capture in small data sets. Heterogeneity in capture probabilities among individuals was evident in larger data sets for all species of small mammals examined. Strong behavioral responses were detected in several species. Sylvilagus, Tamias amoenus, Glaucomys sabrinus, Perognathus longimembris, and Microtus ochrogaster were trap shy, whereas Tamias striatus, Tamias townsendii, Spermophilus richardsonii, Perognathus parvus, Reithrodontomys megalotis, Peromyscus maniculatus, Peromyscus truei, Sigmodon hispidus, Microtus californicus, and Microtus pennsylvanicus were trap prone. Time effects were not apparent for most species except where they were accompanied with heterogeneity. Murid species had the highest estimated probabilities of capture, followed by heteromyids, sciurids, and leporids in decreasing order. Estimates of abundance from model Mh were significantly greater than those from models Mb, Mo, and Mt, which likely reflects the negative bias of these latter estimators.
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