logo WLC6 2022 Lepus timidus



Workshop 1 - Lagomorph Taxonomy and Conservation
Paulo C. Alves, Faculdade de Ciencias da Universidade do Porto, Portugal
contact: pcalves (at) fc.up.pt

The taxonomy of several lagomorph taxa is controversial, and this controversy may have implications on the conservation of some species and populations.
There are species with huge geographical distribution, but with clear ecological and biogeographical differentiation. Species with very restricted ranges, namely on Islands, but with quite low levels of genetic and morphological differentiation. It has also been described cryptic diversity, and strong genetic similarities in some species pairs.
On the other hand, threatened assessments are only done on species levels, and not in evolutionary significant units, that have been described. Hundreds of subspecies have been described, but most of them have not been confirmed and are not supported by genetic information. Why maintaining them ?
I propose that Lagomorph experts, including those working in morphology, biogeography, behavior, ecology and genetics to meet for establishing guidelines for reviewing the Lagomorph taxonomy. In addition, in face on existing and published information, a taxonomic revision of some taxa should be done, in order to not perpetuate the taxonomic controversy, and to allow species conservation assessments of the new forms.
In summary, we cannot maintain a position that someone will solve the taxonomy of the Lagomorphs, perpetuate and always postpone a decision on this topic, since we are the Lagomorph experts, and the WLC has the perfect forum for taking such decisions !


Workshop 2 - Lagomorphs as a Model Morphological System
Irina Ruf, Seckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany
Brian Kraatz, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA
contact: irina.ruf (at) senckenberg.de

The purpose of this special session is to highlight the expanded use of quantatively morphological approaches in understanding lagomorph evolution and morphofunction. Our list of potential participants includes both experts in lagomorph biology, but also, methodological experts who have, in various degrees, incorporated lagomorphs into their study systems. They are selected because they apply modern imaging techniques (e.g., μCT, synchrotron, XROMM) and various statistical and morphometric methods (e.g., geometric morphometrics) to elucidate the evolution, ontogeny as well as functional morphology of mammals that can help to widen the field of research on lagomorphs. We expect that bringing such diverse experts together would produce discussions that lead to new morphological research projects on lagomorphs, and further develop lagomorphs as a morphological model system.


Workshop 3 - Successes and Failures of European Rabbit Translocations
Jasja Dekker, Dierecologie, The Netherlands
contact: info (at) jasjadekker.nl

Together with Marijke Drees here in the Netherlands, and dune conservation workers in Wales, UK, we thought it might be imminent to have a session or a workshop at the conference dealing with successes and failures of European rabbit translocations aimed at population and eventually habitat recovery. This practice really seems to take of in the Netherlands and UK in the wake of RHD effects, and we would like to share the most recent knowledge among us.


Workshop 4 - Euro Leporid
Jean-Sébastien Guitton, ONCFS, France
Jérôme Letty, ONCFS, France
Guillaume Souchay, ONCFS, France
Klaus Hackländer, BOKU, Austria
Paulo C. Alves, Faculdade de Ciencias da Universidade do Porto, Portugal
contact: Jean-sebastien.Guitton (at) oncfs.gouv.fr

A workshop entitled "Lagomorphs in Europe: Conservation and Population Dynamics" took place during the 33rd International Union of Game Biologists Congress in Montpellier (France - 22-25 August 2017). Oral presentations and discussions have shown that European Lagomorph researchers are facing the same questions about the population decline of hares and rabbits across Europe.
We have all agreed to establish a network of Leporid science (that could be named EUROLEPORIDS) following the idea of EURODEER. Unfortunately, this project has not progressed as expected. We propose to give it a new impetus during this World Lagomorph Conference during a devoted Workshop.
The goal of this network will need to be outlined. As a basis for discussion, we think that a first goal should be to bring together people who are actively working in hare and rabbit population dynamics. That could facilitate data sharing and initiate new collaborative projects in several European countries. Researchers using trapping, marking, telemetry etc. would particularly be concerned. EURODEER goes a little further by joining the data of different research groups into a well-supported repository, with transparent accessibility, but we will be free to develop our own network with our own objectives and tools.
Lastly, EUROLEPORIDS may contribute to elaborate and carry well-supported recommendations to European political authorities about Leporids management. We are convinced that EUROLEPORIDS would be an enthusiastic opportunity to develop collaborative science and to improve knowledge on Leporids issues in Europe !


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