Petition: Support the grey partridge
Why sign this petition?
Not a single group in the countryside is as committed to the grey partridge as the hunters. Creating beetle banks, managing field corners, feeding during wintertime, legal predator management and assisting in the scientific monitoring of the species: wildlife managers do it all and therefore deserve all (moral, political and social) support.
This is why Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen – FACE Member and Hunters’ association for the Flemish region of Belgium – launched an online petition to encourage partridge enthusiasts amongst hunters and to support them in their efforts and all the work they do.
- The true challenges partridge populations are facing are the lack of suitable habitat, the lack of insects during the chick-food foraging period and in many locations the additional pressure of predation. But oddly enough, hunters are being held responsible for the decline of this species.
- On top of the existing legal boundaries many hunters implement self-imposed restrictions, like a local (temporary) hunting stop to give these local populations all opportunities to flourish.
- A ban on partridge hunting may have the serious consequence of losing the support of an entire community dedicated to the preservation of this species
- Mostly hunters are the sole local actors in the countryside who are actively committed to the well-being and the future of this bird, by investing time, effort and money. On top of this, hunters – in contrast with other conservationists – maintain strong relationships with farmers and act as ambassadors, persuading farmers not to spray suitable partridge habitats with insecticides, motivating them to sign agri-environmental schemes, providing supplementary winter feeding and restoring micro-habitats.
- Hunters have created collaborations with numerous stakeholders in the field through a series of actions and campaigns, such as ‘Zot van Patrijs’ (a project in the Province of Antwerp) , the international Interreg PARTRIDGE project and a Flemish project dedicated to partridge
- A ban on hunting does not necessarily lead to an increase in populations. On the contrary, the situation in The Netherlands is a striking example of a continued decline in spite of a hunting ban.
- Hunters participate in scientific monitoring of the species.
- In order not to impact the populations in the long run, hunters only harvest a limited amount. Wildlife management is exactly this – focusing on future generations, be it wildlife or our children.
- Where hunters are involved in implementing measures, partridge populations remain steady or even increase significantly.
Share this petition with as many hunters, conservationists, beaters and people with a heart for this field bird as possible.