The Italian grey partridge (Perdix perdix italica) is currently considered extinct in the wild. The LIFE Perdix Project aims to recover and conserve it by genetic analysis, captive breeding and reintroduction of a viable population within the Valle del Mezzano Natura 2000 site, a Special Protection Area (SPA IT4060008) in the Po delta.

Specific objectives

  • to launch an Italian grey partridge breeding and reintroduction programme by identifying and conserving the genetic lines found in the historic specimens and by implementing the best management and health techniques, in order to ensure the species’ survival.
  • to engage the local stakeholders and citizens in the conservation process, by implementing monitoring initiatives, raising awareness of the importance of protecting biodiversity in rural environments, improving the quality of agricultural production.
  • to implement environmental improvement and risk mitigation measures during the acclimatization and breeding phase, incorporating positive management experiences tested in France.
  • to conserve the Perdix perdix italica species, by breeding the partridges in three public breeding centres spread throughout Italy.
  • to play a highly strategic role in the Italian grey partridge’s reintroduction in the wild in Europe, also by providing the results and acquired knowledge to the managers of protected areas and Natura 2000 sites, in order to encourage the reintroduction of other viable Perdix perdix italica populations in Italy.

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