ABSTRACT. Density and population size of game mammals in two Conservation Units of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Atlantic Rain Forest even though suffering intense devastation, shelters 261 species of mammals, 73 endemic. Large mammals were among the most vulnerable to hunting, loss of habitat, and wildlife trade. In the State of Rio de Janeiro there are only two Federal Biological Reserves of lowland Atlantic Rain Forest, the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve and the União Biological Reserve. The purpose of this study was to assess the presence and putative influence of illegal hunting on the mammals in these two Conservation Units. Surveys were conducted using a line-transect method; 375 kilometers were covered during the period between December 2003 and January 2005. The data for the population density estimate was analyzed using the program DISTANCE 5.0. Twelve species were confirmed through visual encounters during the surveys, whereas are regularly hunted in the region studied. The species that presented higher density were brown capuchin monkey (Cebus nigritus Erxleben, 1777), howler monkey (Alouatta guariba Lacépède, 1799), ninebanded long-nosed armadillo (Dasypus novemcintus Linnaeus, 1758), and the seven-banded long-nosed armadillo (Dasypus septemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758). The most rare or absent species were the brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris Brünnich, 1771), the red brocket deer (Mazama americana Rafinesque, 1817) and the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari Link, 1795). In these two study areas both direct and indirect evidence of illegal hunting was observed, indicating that hunting is a common practice inside these Biological Reserves. The long-term survival of the hunted species is questionable, because the remaining populations living in fragments that are small and isolated, making them more susceptible to extinction even under low hunting pressure. Link, 1795). Evidências diretas e indiretas da ação da caça ilegal foram observadas nas duas áreas de estudo, indicando que a caça é uma prática comum nessas Reservas Biológicas. A sobrevivência a longo prazo dessas espécies é questionável, já que as populações remanescentes em fragmentos são pequenas e isoladas, o que as tornam muito susceptível à extinção mesmo sob uma baixa pressão de caça. KEYWORDS.
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