Effects of mammalian predators on partridge populations.
Many ecologists have argued that predation is of little consequence in the regulation of gamebird numbers and that predator control in game management is a waste of time. Their case has included two lines of evidence; firstly, gamekeepers do not appear to be reducing predator numbers significantly; secondly, mortality by predation appears to be compensatory and therefore has little impact on gamebird populations as a whole. However, a closer examination of the activities of gamekeepers indicates that they do reduce predation pressure either by reducing or completely removing some predator species, or by temporarily reducing their number on a local basis. Recent research including an investigation of partridge population processes explored with a computer simulation model indicates that predation does regulate both autumn and spring densities. Other factors play an important role only when predators are removed.