About the Wild Greys Project
The grey partridge, Perdix perdix, is an iconic farmland bird native to the UK and many other European countries. Whilst once a common bird in our countryside, reduced habitat availability has led to a dramatic decline in their numbers. They have now become locally extinct in many parts of the UK and other European countries. More information on the range and status of the Grey Partridge can be found on the IUCN redlist website.
Research into the ecology of grey partridges has led to the development of management prescriptions designed to address their habitat needs. Many of these prescriptions now form part of national agri-environmental schemes and their implementation by landowners has increased the amount of habitat available to grey partridges. However, despite these positive changes, the distinctive call of a wild grey is still absent from many farms where habitats have been improved. This is often because wild greys have already become extinct in that area and, therefore, no birds are available to begin re-establishing a wild population. It is in situations such as this that a re-introduction programme may be suitable.
The Wild Greys Project was originally set up by Dr. Dave Butler in 2007 to rear grey partridges suitable for re-introduction projects. Since then, we have received considerable and growing interest in grey partridge re-introduction in the UK, Europe and North America. As a result, we have now decided to launch www.wildgreys.com as a free membership-based website for anyone interested in re-introducing grey partridges. The aims of the Wild Greys Project are:
Promote: Promote the re-establishment of wild grey partridge populations & where appropriate specific projects to help Perdix Perdix.
Support: Support members by providing access to online tools, resources & expert advice.
Research: Conduct research & support the research of participants to help improve the success of re-introduction projects including providing projects with mapping of releases and bird finds.
The website provides projects with a method of recording bird releases and bird finds to assess the success of reintroduction projects and the variables associated with bird releases. This data helps each individual project and the collective knowledge of organisations working to help the Grey Partridge re-establish itself in Europe.
Other members can submit the ring number and location information for any ‘wild greys’ ring that they find. This is then associated with the specific project that released this bird, so that even if released birds travel significant distances your project can still gain a valuable insight into behaviours and bird mortality.
It is completely free to sign up for an account and use the tools provided. This is because the Wild Greys project is kindly sponsored by a number of organisations including Perdix Wildlife Supplies who have paid for the development and on-going running costs of the website. If your company or organisation would like to support our project let us know.
Project managers will also benefit from regular discounts on game bird management equipment from our sponsor www.perdixwildlifesupplies.co.uk through their online store.
Sign up to Use the System
Simply complete the simple registration process to join up. Once you have done that you can then create one or more projects that will allow you to record release data and record bird finds, including recordings of live birds tracked with radio tags, so that you can build a picture of how your re-introduction work is succeeding. In order to keep costs down if you have multiple people working on your release project data we ask that they all share a single login / password.
Each of your projects will get its own colour-coded map showing both releases and finds. If a member of the public finds one of your birds with a Wild Grey’s ring and submits the information that data will be added to your project and you will be notified of the find.
While the overall location of your projects is visible to all, only you can see the location of your release sites and recorded observations.
Want to record finds but not release data
There is an option for you to register on the Wild Greys website but not start your own project at this point. This will give you access to all of the members only information and if you are finding birds with Wild Grey’s rings on you can record them and see them plotted on a map. This data of the bird finds will also be given to the project that released the birds. Often people join as a member to obtain further information as they examine the possibility of undertaking a re-introduction project on their land. We welcome all who are interested in seeing Wild Grey Partridges thriving in the countryside again.
With your help and support we hope to establish a network of projects across the world and make this project one of the largest re-introduction schemes ever undertaken. Join today.