Understanding the response of biodiversity to land-use changes is an important challenge for ecologists. We assessed the effects of five landscape metrics (forest cover, number of patches, edge density, mean inter-patch isolation distance and matrix quality) and three patch metrics (patch size, shape and isolation) on the number of species and patch occupancy of medium- and large-sized terrestrial mammals in the fragmented Lacandona rain forest, Mexico. We sampled mammal assemblages in 24 forest patches and four control areas within a continuous forest. The landscape metrics were measured within a 100-ha buffer, and within a 500-ha buffer from the centre of each sampling site. A total of 21 species from 13 families was recorded. The number of species increased with shape complexity and patch size at the patch scale, and with matrix quality within 100-ha landscapes. When considering 500-ha landscapes, only the number of patches (i.e. forest fragmentation level) tended to have a negative influence at the community level. Different landscape and patch metrics predicted the occurrence of each species within the sites. Our results indicate that there is a gradient of tolerance to forest cover change, from highly sensitive species to those tolerant of, or even benefited by, forest-cover change.