Seventy years of researching the grey partridge Perdix perdix in the UK: What lessons have we learnt and how can they help the conservation of threatened Galliformes?
In the UK, studies of the grey partridge began in the early 1930s and continue today, making this species one of the most intensively studied galliformes in the world. Initial studies were concerned with understanding the fundamental biology of the species and factors controlling abundance at the local scale. From the 1960s through to the 1980s research focused on understanding the threats to the conservation of the species and identifying the causes of its decline at the national scale. Having established the causes for the species' decline, research switched to identifying potential conservation actions, which were field-tested at relatively small scales. After much persuasion, several of them were adopted by government and incorporated into agri-environmental policy in the late 1990s, accompanied by studies to monitor their success at the national level. This paper will review grey partridge research in the UK, illustrating how it has developed to address specific issues as they arose, detailing the lessons that have been learnt. It will discuss the application of this detailed and long-term research to the study of globally threatened galliformes more generally, through lessons learnt and a retrospective appraisal. Additionally, the review will also show, with the application of the results from grey partridge research in the UK, how the recently proposed model for the role of species action planning may be a useful basis for future research concerned with the conservation of Galliformes.