THE LAGOMORPH SPECIALIST GROUP (LSG) Working for the conservation and management of approximately 90 species of pikas, rabbits and hares.
The LSG was constituted in 1978 and currently has 66 members working on the conservation and management of lagomorphs worldwide.
This web-site provides 1) information on links to LSG members; 2) current research, conservation and management activities concerning lagomorphs; 3) recent literature on lagomorphs; 4) images of lagomorphs; 5) links to other sources of information on lagomorphs; and 6) assorted other topics concerning lagomorphs.
Lagomorphs are a very distinct order of small to medium-sized herbivores. They are considered to be closely related to rodents. The order Lagomorpha is characterized by the presence of small peg-like teeth immediately behind the incisors, found in no other mammals. The two families, Ochotonidae and Leporidae, are likewise easily distinguishable. The Ochotonidae (pikas) have hind legs not much longer than the forelegs; are very small; have rounded ears as wide as they are long; and a skull with no supraorbital bones and a relatively short nasal region. The Leporidae, on the other hand, are larger, with hind legs longer than the forelegs, have long ears; and a skull with prominent supraorbital bones and a long nasal region.
Many species of lagomorph are among the rarest and most endangered of all mammals. Lagomorphs also play an important role in most ecosystems – they serve as prey to many carnivores, they are also ecosystem engineers that promote biodiversity in select ecosystems, and many species serve as a game animal or a source of sustainable harvest to local people. Many lagomorph populations are susceptible to epidemics of disease, thus can serve as a model for the role of disease in natural and artificial ecosystems. Last, many species can be impacted by global warming, and these can serve as harbingers of the effects of climate change.