Grey partridge supplementations in Oxfordshire and east Gloucestershire, UK.
The grey partridge (Perdix perdix, Linnaeus 1758) is a native farmland species and a traditional game bird in the United Kingdom. Once a common species in the English countryside, the populations of this species have decreased dramatically (e.g. -88% between 1967 and 2006 (Baillie et al., 2009)) mainly as a result of habitat loss due to agricultural intensification. Consequently, the grey partridge has been included on the red list of birds in the UK with highest conservation priority. There have been many attempts in the UK to re-establish or re-stock grey partridge populations through releases of captive-bred birds onto sympathetically managed farmland (e.g. Rands & Hayward, 1987; Dowell, 1990; Parish & Sotherton, 2007). However, released birds have had far inferior survival and breeding success compared to wild grey partridges (Rands & Hayward, 1987; Dowell, 1990), possibly because of their inadequate anti-predator behaviour brought about by captive breeding (Dowell, 1990).