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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Set aside, bird cover crops and intensive management appear to benefit grey partridge Perdix perdix in farmland in southern England

Published source details

Aebischer N.J. & Ewald J.A. (2010) Grey Partridge Perdix perdix in the UK: recovery status, set-aside and shooting. Ibis, 152, 530-542


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Control predators not on islands for gamebirds Bird Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-9 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010), found that the number of grey partridges Perdix perdix increased significantly on an experimental site, where predators were controlled (along with several other interventions), but only slightly on a control site without predator control. This increase was apparent in spring (from fewer than 3 pairs/km2 in 2002 to 12 pairs/km2 in 2009, with a high of 18 pairs/km2 vs. approximately 1 pair/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately 4 pairs/km2 in 2009) and autumn (from fewer than 10 birds/km2 in 2002 to approximately 65 birds/km2 in 2009, with a high of 85 birds/km2 vs. approximately 4 birds/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately 15 birds/km2 in 2009). Predators controlled were red fox Vulpes vulpes, stoats Mustela erminea, brown rats Rattus norvegicus, carrion crows Corvus corone and black-billed magpies Pica pica. The experimental site also had supplementary food provided and habitat creation (see ‘Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival’ and ‘Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture’). The effects of agri-environment schemes and the provision of set-aside are also discussed in ‘Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures’ and ‘Provide or retain set-aside’.

 

Provide supplementary food for gamebirds to increase adult survival Bird Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-9 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010), found that the number of grey partridges Perdix perdix increased significantly on an experimental site, where supplementary food was provided (along with several other interventions), but only slightly on a control site without food. This increase was apparent in spring (from fewer than 3 pairs/km2 in 2002 to 12 pairs/km2 in 2009, with a high of 18 pairs/km2 vs. approximately 1 pair/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately 4 pairs/km2 in 2009) and autumn (from fewer than 10 birds/km2 in 2002 to approximately 65 birds/km2 in 2009, with a high of 85 birds/km2 vs. approximately 4 birds/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately 15 birds/km2 in 2009). Food consisted of wheat from a hopper, provided from October to March). The experimental site also had predator control present and habitat creation (see ‘Control predators not on islands’ and ‘Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture’). The effects of agri-environment schemes and the provision of set-aside are also discussed in ‘Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures’ and ‘Provide or retain set-aside’.

 

Control predatory mammals and birds (foxes, crows, stoats and weasels) Farmland Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-2009 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010) found that the number of grey partridge Perdix perdix increased significantly on an experimental site, where predators were controlled (along with several other interventions), but only slightly on a control site without predator control. This increase was apparent in spring (from fewer than 3 pairs/km2 in 2002 to 12 in 2009, with a high of 18 pairs/km2 on the experimental site, compared to approximately 1 pair/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately 4 in 2009) and autumn (from fewer than 10 birds/km2 in 2002 to approximately 65 in 2009, with a high of 85 birds/km2, compared to approximately 4 birds/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately 15 birds/km2 in 2009). Predators controlled were red fox Vulpes vulpes, stoat Mustela erminea, brown rat Rattus norvegicus, carrion crow Corvus corone and black-billed magpie Pica pica. The experimental site also had supplementary food provided and habitat creation.

 

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Bird Conservation

A controlled study in 2002- 2009 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010), found that the estimated population density of grey partridges Perdix perdix was significantly higher on set-aside land, than on conventional arable crops. The difference was strongest for rotational set-aside, with non-rotational set-aside not having a significant positive impact on partridge densities. This study also examined the densities found on land under various agri-environment schemes (which were similar to those on set-aside, see ‘Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures’), wild bird cover (which were higher than those on set-aside, see ‘Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture’) and the impact of predator control and supplementary food provision (see ‘Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival’ and ‘Control predators not on islands’).

Provide supplementary food for birds or mammals Farmland Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-2009 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010), found that the number of grey partridges Perdix perdix increased significantly on an experimental site where supplementary food was provided (along with several other interventions), but only slightly on a control site without supplementary food. This increase was apparent in spring (from fewer than three pairs/km2 in 2002 to 12 in 2009, with a high of 18 pairs/km2 on the experimental site, compared to approximately one pair/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately four pairs/km2 in 2009) and autumn (from fewer than 10 birds/km2 in 2002 to approximately 65 in 2009, with a high of 85 birds/km2 compared to approximately four birds/km2 on the control site in 2002, increasing to approximately 15 in 2009). Food consisted of wheat from a hopper, provided from October to March. The experimental site also had predator control and habitat creation.

 

Pay farmers to cover the costs of bird conservation measures Bird Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-9 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010), found that the estimated population density of grey partridges was significantly higher on land under agri-environment schemes than on conventional arable crops. This study also examined the densities found on set-aside (which were similar to those on land under other agri-environment schemes, see ‘Provide or retain set-aside’), wild bird cover (which were considerably higher than on other land uses, see ‘Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture’) and the impact of predator control and supplementary food provision (see ‘Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival’ and ‘Control predators not on islands’).

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture Bird Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-2009 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010), found that the estimated population density of grey partridges was significantly higher on land sown with wild bird cover than on conventional arable crops. This study also examined the densities found on land under various agri-environment schemes and set-aside (which were higher than those on wild bird cover, see ‘Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures’ and ‘Provide or retain set-aside’) and the impact of predator control and supplementary food provision (see see ‘Provide supplementary food to increase adult survival’ and ‘Control predators not on islands’).

 

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture Farmland Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-2009 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010), found that the estimated population density of grey partridges Perdix perdix was significantly higher on land sown with wild bird cover than on conventional arable crops. This study also examined the densities found on land under various agri-environment schemes and set aside (which were higher than those on wild bird cover) and the impact of predator control and supplementary food provision. Grey partridges were surveyed in March and September using dawn and dusk counts starting in 2001. Land cover within the project area was mapped and categorized as: conventional arable land, arable in agri-environment schemes, non-arable, or set-aside (which was further divided into non-rotational, wild bird cover, other rotational).

 

Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes) Farmland Conservation

A controlled study in 2002-2009 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, UK (Aebischer & Ewald 2010) found that the estimated population density of grey partridge Perdix perdix was significantly higher on land under agri-environment schemes, than on conventional arable crops. This study also examined the densities found on set-aside (which were similar to those on land under other agri-environment schemes), wild bird cover (which were considerably higher than on other land uses) and the impact of predator control and supplementary food provision. Grey partridges were surveyed in March and September using dawn and dusk counts starting in 2001. Land cover within the project area was mapped and categorized as: conventional arable land, arable in agri-environment schemes, non-arable, or set-aside (which was further divided into non-rotational, wild bird cover, other rotational).

 

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Farmland Conservation

A site comparison study in 2002-2009 on mixed farmland in Hertfordshire, England (Aebischer & Ewald 2010) found that the estimated population density of grey partridge Perdix perdix was significantly higher on set-aside land than on conventional arable crops. The difference was strongest for rotational set-aside, with non-rotational set-aside not having a significant positive impact on partridge densities.