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BTO Blueline
Red-legged Partridge © Tommy Holden

• Population

• Productivity

• Additional

Conservation listings
Europe: SPEC category 2 (declining)
UK: not listed (introduced)
Long-term trend
UK, England: possible shallow decline
UK population size
72,000–200,000 territories in 2000 (1988–91 Atlas estimate updated using CBC/BBS trend: BiE04, APEP06)
Status summary
Since Red-legged Partridge is a non-native species released in the UK for the purpose of being shot by hunters, its possible population decrease over the recent 25-year period raises no conservation concern. Moreover, BBS data indicate that significant increase has occurred in the UK since 1994. Game-bag data show that the numbers released per unit area onto shooting estates, and the numbers shot, have both increased more than eightfold since 1980: around 6.5 million birds have been released annually in the UK in recent years (PACEC 2006). The effects on native fauna of such vast-scale releases of this species and Pheasant have been little studied. There is now evidence, however, that shooting operations based on large-scale releases of Red-legged Partridges can lead to local extinction of the red-listed native Grey Partridge (Watson et al. 2007).
CBC/BBS UK graph

1967-2007: -14% (confidence interval -43% to 26%)

Population changes in detail
More on demographic trends
Additional information

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This report should be cited as: Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G., Barimore, C., Downie, I.S., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2010). Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2009.
BTO Research Report No. 541. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 18.01.2010