Blühfläche (Foto E. Gottschalk)

The partridge in Lower Saxony

Once widespread - now rare

The Biologische Schutzgemeinschaft Göttingen and the Department of Conservation Biology of the University Göttingen receive financial support from the foundation Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung for its long-standing commitment to the successful reintroduction of the partridge. By implementing successful measures such as the planting of flower strips and the interlinking of fields, many characteristic bird species and insects will ultimately benefit.


Few bird species in Lower Saxony have suffered such a severe decline in numbers as the partridge. The populations have decreased by about 95 % in the last decades and the former common bird is also listed as "highly endangered" on the Red List throughout Germany. The causes of the decline are known: The industrialization of agriculture causes a loss of heterogeneity in the landscape, poisons the environment with pesticides and worsens the partridge habitat by fertilizing and reducing the distance between rows. The chicks are most affected. There is a lack of sufficient insect supply and light vegetation for the chicks to dry quickly. In addition, the remaining partridge pairs are increasingly isolated, so that the low reproduction is no longer sufficient to keep the population stable.

The project

The first project co-financed by MHS has been carried out with the support of the Lower Saxony Agricultural and Environmental Programme NAU and with the involvement of many willing farmers: With the implementation of the eco-agricultural measure "flowering strips", which are managed in a partridge-friendly way, new habitats have been created for the birds. A long-term telemetry study accompanied this project.

The project work so far has resulted in, among other things, a guide and a film on the efforts to protect meadow-nesting birds, which is available to interested parties with recommendations on partridge protection.

In 2016, the Biologische Schutzgemeinschaft Göttingen was also able to launch a new project "Qualification of actors to initiate regional partridge protection projects in Lower Saxony".
Since 2021, the expertise gained from the project work and many years of accompanying research has been incorporated into the project "Save Partridge - Promote Diversity" within the Federal Programme on Biological Diversity. So far, 12 suitable project areas in 9 federal states have been identified for the funding programme to implement the tested conservation measures. The measures include knowledge transfer and training of stakeholders, as well as networking among participants. Subsequently, selected project areas will be further developed over a period of 6 years. Diverse approaches such as the ecological upgrading of the project area and the management of predators preserve long-term habitats for a variety of agricultural species, especially insects and farmland birds.

Further information

See also here: EU-financed project PARTRIDGE - „Protecting Area´s Resources Through Researched and Innovative Demonstration of Good Examples“

Flowering strips and partridge