Perdix perdix 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae

Scientific Name: Perdix perdix (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Grey Partridge, Gray Partridge, Partridge
Taxonomic Source(s): Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A. & Ashpole, J
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species occurs throughout much of the western Palearctic, with a native range encompassing Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Moldova, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and China (del Hoyo et al. 1994). The subspecies italica, endemic to parts of Italy, has been extinct since the 1980s as a result of hybridisation with introduced individuals of the nominate subspecies (Liukkonen-Anttila et al. 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Italy; Kazakhstan; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia - Vagrant, European Russia); Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom; Uzbekistan
Possibly extinct:
Regionally extinct:
Canada; United States
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:16900000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 1,380,000-2,670,000 pairs, which equates to 2,750,000-5,340,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 70% of the global range, so a revised estimate of the global population size is 3,900,000-7,600,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The population is estimated to be in overall decline. It has suffered marked declines in all parts of its native range owing to habitat loss and degradation caused by agricultural intensification and loss of insect prey caused by pesticides (McGowan and Kirwan 2013). This corresponds well with the strong long-term (1980-2013) decline reported for the European population by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC 2015) and the <25% decline in the European population over three generations (11.7 years) reported by the 2015 European Red List of Birds (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:3900000-7600000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The following information relates to the species's European range only. It is found in the temperate zone, steppe regions and open arable landscapes (McGowan and Kirwan 2013). Its preferred habitat is open, low-intensity mixed farmland with small fields and hedges on grassy banks (Potts 1986, Birkan and Jacob 1988). It is found in large tracts of grassland, or other ground cover that is only slightly taller than the bird itself with some dense shrubby patches at intervals such as hedgerows. Laying occurs from late April in the U.K., early May to June in central Europe and late May to June in Sweden with re-nesting until August or September (McGowan and Kirwan 2013). It typically lays 15–17 eggs in the first clutch but fewer eggs when re-nesting. The nest is a shallow depression lined with plant material at the base of a hedge or other thick vegetation (Madge and McGowan 2002). It feeds on seeds of grains and weeds, cereals and clover and grass leaves as well as insects. The species is mainly sedentary however it is partially migratory in eastern Europe and performs altitudinal migration in the Caucasus moving to the foothills in October and November (McGowan & Kirwan 2013).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3.9
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Europe since the early part of the 20th century, the species may have declined in all 31 countries in which it is found. In the U.K., the reduction in numbers is believed to be as high as 80%; causes probably include factors such as loss of nesting cover, predation, herbicides (chick survival rates in U.K. declined from 49% to 32% once their use became widespread) and pesticides that reduce insect abundance in the spring. All of these factors are the consequences of intensification of agricultural practices (McGowan and Kirwan 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Mace Lande: Safe. EU Birds Directive Annex II and III, Perdix perdix italica and Perdix perdix hispaniensis Annex I. A national Species Management Plan for the Italian Grey Partridge (P. p. italica) was published in 1999 (Palumbo and Gallo-Orsi 1999). In the U.K., supplementary winter feeding is also being attempted to benefit this, and other declining granivorous birds, on farmland (McGowan and Kirwan 2013).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Within Europe, recommendations to address current population reductions include: provision of good-quality nesting cover; reduction of nest predation by controlling impact of foxes, stoats and feral cats and improving insect abundance in spring so that chicks have sufficient prey items (McGowan and Kirwan 2013).

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No

Bibliography [top]

BirdLife International. 2004. Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Birkan, M.; Jacob, M. 1988. [The Grey Partridge]. Hatier, Paris.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1994. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

EBCC. 2015. Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme. Available at:

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Liukkonen-Anttila, T.; Uimaniemi, L.; Orell, M.; Lumme, J. 2002. Mitochondrial DNA variation and the phylogeography of the Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) in Europe: from Pleistocene history to present day populations. J. Evol. Biol. 15: 971-982.

McGowan, P.J.K. and Kirwan, G.M. 2013. Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Palumbo, G. and Gallo-Orsi, U. 1999. Management Statement Italian Grey Partridge Perdix perdix italica. BirdLife.

Potts, G. R. 1986. The Partridge: pesticides, predation and conservation. Collins, London.

Rich, T.D., Beardmore, C.J., Berlanga, H., Blancher, P.J., Bradstreet, M.S.W., Butcher, G.S., Demarest, D.W., Dunn, E.H., Hunter, W.C., Inigo-Elias, E.E., Martell, A.M., Panjabi, A.O., Pashley, D.N., Rosenberg, K.V., Rustay, C.M., Wendt, J.S. and Will, T.C. 2004. Partners in flight: North American landbird conservation plan. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Perdix perdix. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22678911A85929015. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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