Simple computer models as aids to studies on the regulation of Alectoris population densities.
Attention is drawn to the fundamental and practical differences between density dependent factors which regulate the density of game populations about a long term mean and density independent factors which disturb the density from a long term mean.
Research on Perdix perdix and Alectoris rufa in the UK has shown that density dependent predation on the nest and on the sitting female, is the main natural density dependent regulating mortality.
The technique of simulating population. dynamics with the use of simple computer models has been very useful in the study on the grey partridge where several long term studies have been made and where population data are abundant. It is maintained that the same techniques can be useful in species where data have only just begun to accumulate - as in the International Alectoris project.
A project which started in the eastern UK in October 1978 is described in which the social behaviour of the red-legged partridge is being studied, with the use of individually marked birds and new types of radio transmitters. A new and more extensive project on the nesting habitat requirements of Alectoris rufa in the UK is expected to start later this year, and the aims of this study are described.