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North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
1. CURRENT STATUS
1.1.1 The UK population of Grey Partridge declined by 86% between 1971-1995 to a currently estimated 150,000 pairs. It remains widespread but population declines show marked geographical variation, being linked to farm type and changes in agricultural practice.
1.1.2 The Grey Partridge is a Priority Species in the UK BAP on account of its population decline.
1.2.1 The extent of local population decline is not known. The North Merseyside population was estimated at 300 pairs in 1997-99 (Knowsley=50, Liverpool=15, Sefton=135, St Helens=100). They are present in all suitable habitat and breed at a density of about one pair per square kilometre (sq. m) which compares favourably with an average density of 0.6 pairs per sq. km in Lancashire as a whole.
1.2.2 The highest population densities occur on arable farmland in Sefton. Together with adjoining areas of West Lancashire, these mosslands support the largest numbers of Grey Partridges in Lancashire with up to 8 pairs per sq. km being recorded. Good numbers are also found in the Rainford area. Smaller populations persist on uncultivated grasslands within the conurbation, notably at Otterspool and the Rimrose Valley.