Save the Grey Partridge – support biodiversity on farmland (2021–2023)


The Grey Partridge has suffered a considerable decline over the past decades. In Germany the species population decreased by more than 90% since the 1980s. The most important driver of this decline is assumed to be a simplification of agricultural landscapes including the loss of fallows, low hedges and field margins.
The Department of Conservation Biology has teamed up with Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten (DDA) and Deutscher Verband für Landschaftspflege (DLV) to support the remaining wild Grey Partridge populations.
The aim of the two-year-project is to lay the scientific and organisational groundwork for a follow-up project starting in 2023. This includes reviews on the effects of predation on the Grey Partridge as well as the ways in which conservation measures for the species can help to boost insect diversity on farmland. For the analysis of the effectiveness of conservation measures, over 130 past and present projects to conserve Grey Partridges have been identified. We are also looking into the amount of habitat under conservation management within an agricultural landscape that is needed to increase local Grey Partridge populations. Another goal of the project is to connect practitioners in Grey Partridge conservation and build a communicative network of Grey Partridges enthusiasts from all parts of Germany.
For the follow-up project, 12 regional projects over the whole Federal Republic have been identified that are involved in Grey Partridge conservation in an area of 100 km². In 2022, the project teams will be trained and supported to create the best possible conditions for a successful implementation of conservation measures.
The project is funded within the framework of the „Bundesprogramm Biologische Vielfalt“ by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with funding by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). Additional funding is provided by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Lower Saxony, the Bavarian Fund for Nature Conservation, the Manfred-Hermsen-Foundation and the German Order of Falcons.

Project homepage (in German)

Involved researchers
Andreas Wiedenmann, Eckhard Gottschalk