Partridge

Both the Red-legged Partridge, Alectoris rufa, and the Grey Partridge, Perdix perdix, are important sporting game birds in the UK and other European countries. In the UK, Red-legged partridges (also known as French Partridges) are now more commonly released for supplementing stocks for shooting than their grey (English) counterparts. These birds are usually reared on the shooting estate where they are to be released or by a commercial game farm. At approximately 10-12 weeks old the partridge poults are then released into pens located in suitable habitats on the shooting estate. From here, the birds are slowly released over a few weeks until all birds are free-living. The birds are continually provided supplemental food and protected from predation by reducing numbers of foxes and other predators through snaring and trapping.

The Grey Partridge is native to the UK and many other European countries. Whilst this iconic farmland bird was once common in our countryside, reduced habitat availability and quality has dramatically reduced their numbers over the last half century.  However, on shooting estates and farms where appropriate habitat management and predator control practices are implemented, populations of grey partridges can still be very high and even provide a harvestable surplus in some years.  In many parts of the UK, however, they have now unfortunately become locally extinct. For this reason, many landowners and farmers are now trying reintroduce grey partridges after improving habitats on their land through government environmental schemes.

PERDIX has a has been involved in many grey partridge reintroduction projects across the UK and Europe. Our Managing Director, Dr. Dave Butler, has a particular interest in game bird ecology and conservation and so we often find ourselves working with, or supplying equipment to, landowners, farmers and gamekeepers involved in game bird reintroduction projects around the world. We initially began extensively rearing grey partridges specifically for reintroduction projects in 2007, whereby the life cycle of the bird is replicated as closely as possible in captivity. Our family broods have now re-established wild populations on farms and estates from Scotland to Hungary. For more information please visit www.wildgreys.com.

If you require any further information regarding game bird management please do not hesitate to contact us.

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