Surveying Partridges

Most people working to conserve Grey Partridges have used a single survey method, typically based on traditional local hunting management.  However, methods differ in how effectively they represent partridges in an area, how much the ease of detection may change as you manage the habitat, and how well they assess survival and productivity.  It is therefore recommended to use more than one method.The following may be used:


Mapping large areas from vehicles (the English PCS method)

Where partridge habitats are primarily arable (cereals and break crops of oilseed rape for example) and farms are large (>100 ha) and contiguous, counts are done from four-wheel drive vehicles driven across the fields in the autumn and around the field boundaries in spring by land managers.


Point counts for smaller fields (a German method)

Where fields are smaller and crops are more varied, point counts may be conducted in spring sometimes with playbacks of bird calls.


Lines of beaters (as used in France)

Lines of people, such as hunting syndicate members, may traverse fields on foot to flush birds. 


Walking extensive areas with dogs

Areas of extensive grass or moorland habitats, or farmland where high, standing crops make it difficult to utilise vehicles for surveying fields, partridges may be counted on foot with dogs.





Links to methods still to be added