Gray Partridge
(Perdix perdix)


Picture of bird
© Christian Artuso
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Gray Partridge is a species from Europe and Asia, introduced to North America in the early 1900s. Populations in Canada are found primarily in the southern Prairie provinces, although there are also small populations in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces. Breeding Bird Survey results indicate that the current abundance in Canada, despite large fluctuations, is relatively similar to that of the early 1970s. The Gray Partridge is hunted throughout much of its North American range. National population goals have not been established for this and other introduced species.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Not applicable2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeHighNot Applicable

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada50,000 - 500,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence


Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaNot Applicable

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between late April and early May and ends in late July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

The Gray Partridge, an introduced species in Canada, is associated with agricultural lands and is affected by agricultural practices. Removal of hedgerows and use of pesticides has been harmful to the species in some areas (Carroll 1993). Captive breeding has had limited success as captive-reared birds, once released, tend to be less vigilant and more susceptible to predators (Rantanen et al. 2010). Severe winter weather that produces deep, hard-crusted snow causes mortality and may be a contributing cause of the wide population fluctuations (Carroll 1993).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type