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European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 14–18 | Cite as

Demography of grey partridges Perdix perdix in Poland in the years 1991–2004: reasons of population decline

Original Paper

Abstract

Grey partridge Perdix perdix populations were monitored in the years 1991–2004 in ten agricultural areas (100–200 km2 each) located in various regions of Poland. Spring density (call counts in March/April) and parameters describing reproductive success (counts of adult and young birds in coveys found in August) were estimated, and annual survival rate of adult birds was calculated. In the 1990s, the mean spring density of grey partridge in Poland showed a threefold decrease. In 1993 (the year of the highest mean density), from 4.6 pairs/km2 to 20.0 pairs/km2 were found in individual areas; whereas in 2004, there were from 0.4 pairs/km2 to 8.3 pairs/km2. The mean brood-production rate in individual years ranged from 29% to 49% (overall mean 36.8%), the chick-survival rate from 31% to 56% (43.1%), the young production from 1.6 to 2.8 young per adult (2.32 young/adult) and the annual survival rate of adult birds from 25% to 33% (28.3%). The population decrease in the 1990s was connected with the drop of reproductive success, including both the brood-production rate and the chick-survival rate, as well as with the decline of annual survival rate of adult birds. The decrease of brood-production rate and adult-survival rate probably resulted mainly from increased abundance of nest and incubating female predators (particularly foxes). Fluctuations in chick-survival rate were related to weather conditions, but also slight long-term decline was recorded, probably due to more intensive pesticide use.

Keywords

Density changes Reproductive parameters Survival Population dynamics Monitoring 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to all hunters and workers of the Polish Hunting Association who collected partridge monitoring data, and to Robert Kamieniarz and two anonymous referees for critical review of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Polish Hunting Association, Research StationCzempińPoland

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