Despite encouraging Game Conservancy Trust (GCT) figures on grey partridge numbers, the gamebird may still face a future on the endangered species list if DEFRA sticks to original targets for the bird?s recovery and those in turn are not met.

The first target was to stabilise the grey partridge population. The second target was to have 150,000 breeding pairs by 2010. Morag Walker, from the GCT, told ST: ?If we don?t hit the biodiversity action plan target there is a danger greys will be taken off the quarry list. We think we can reach the target. Where people are managing the land for shooting grey partridges, the birds have a really good chance, but we need more people to get involved. Where landowners are carrying out positive management for shooting, partridge numbers are on the increase. Consequently, DEFRA officials are currently looking at whether or not the target for 2010 should be revised in accordance with the GCT?s recorded growth in numbers.?

For more information on the GCT?s work on grey partridge recovery and to contribute in your area, visit www.gct.org.uk