Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gray Partridge

Gray (or Hungarian) Partridge were introduced into North America from the Old World in the early 1900s. Where hedgerows are left standing, partridge flourish—these game-birds enjoy high reproductive rates (but with short lifespans and hight mortality rates). They suffer in areas with industrial agriculture and high pesticide use. Hunting does not seem to adversely affect population growth. The main threats to this species include predators and weather (Carroll 1993). I am surprised to read that partridges are increasing out of the northern Great Plains into Nebraska and Missouri. Most ecology textbooks tell you that Gray Partridges prefer cold, dry northern climates and do poorly in warm, humid areas. Perhaps the species is adapting to these southern climates. (This photo was taken in western South Dakota.)

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