Madagascar's native small mammals (Tenrecidae and Nesomyinae) are understudied. To help fill these knowledge gaps, we analyzed 1,575 detections of small mammals obtained during camera-trap surveys at 7 sites in northeastern Madagascar (2008–2011) using single-season occupancy analyses in program PRESENCE. We estimated landscape occupancy and detection probabilities of tufted-tailed rats (Eliurus spp.), red forest rats (Nesomys spp.), greater hedgehog tenrecs (Setifer setosus), and common tenrecs (Tenrec ecaudatus) and examined how these parameters responded to habitat characteristics, habitat degradation, and the trap success of native and exotic carnivorans. Only Nesomys showed a marked difference in mean occupancy between intact (Ψ = 0.71 ± SE 0.06), intermediately degraded (Ψ = 0.23 ± SE 0.05), and degraded (Ψ = 0.34 ± SE 0.06) forest sites. Only Nesomys and Setifer occupancy was strongly influenced by habitat characteristics; Nesomys occupancy was positively related to distance away from forest edge (β = 1.39 ± SE 0.27) and percent rainforest cover (β = 1.89 ± SE 0.39), and Setifer occupancy negatively related to average canopy height (β = –0.52 ± SE 0.25). We found trap success of exotic carnivorans had little influence on small mammal occupancy and detection probabilities (with the exception of Eliurus). We suggest that camera traps are a valid method for studying aspects of small mammal ecology, but caution researchers to consider characteristics of camera traps (e.g., trigger speed) to increase potential inference.
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Vol. 98 • No. 1