June 30, 2016
Scientists from 23 countries will descend on Stanislaus State July 11-15 for the 5th conference of the World Lagomorph Society, an international organization dedicated to the study of wild lagomorphs—hares, rabbits and pikas.
The society holds its world conference once every four years, and this will be the first time it will be staged in the United States. Stan State is a natural host for the event. Lagomorphs include two families: leporidae (hares and rabbits) and ochotonidae (pikas). Cottontails and brush rabbits native to our region fit in leporidae, and we also have pika in the Sierra. Our domestic rabbit, the European wild rabbit, is part of the leporidae family but is studied formally by a different organization, the World Rabbit Society.
“Our campus has been involved with the recovery of the endangered Riparian Brush Rabbit, a species that was very near the extinction point in the valley,” said Mark Grobner, interim dean of the Stanislaus State College of Science. “Efforts of the Endangered Species Recovery Program, housed in our Department of Biological Sciences, have driven this recovery effort since 2001. This makes Stanislaus State a leader in lagomorph research and an ideal choice for hosting this conference.”
In addition to the conference, the organizing committee is planning excursions to Yosemite and into other parts of the Sierra to view wild populations of lagomorphs. There also will be an event at the downtown Art Space on Main that will allow conference participants to interact with community members.