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Title of the project

Markvildtprojektet (Small Game management project)


The main purpose of this project is to create guilds within a defined area of a minimum og 1.000-1.500 hectares, where farmers, ornithologists, hunters, beekeepers etc. work together to manage their land in the optimal way for wildlife, with the primary focus of partridge and hares. Each landowner can participate the amount he or she wants. No one is obligated to take farmland out of production. Each guild is linked to a professional wildlife manager who works at the Danish hunters association. Each landowner in the guild can receive free counsel on how to improve their terrain.

To ensure backing of the project, a group of the main actors in farmland management in Denmark was seated to discuss the ground principles for the project. The group came up with five ground principles:

Volunteerism – participation is voluntary, no one is forces/bound to do anything. The landowners participates because they want to, not because they are forced to. They are free to participate and they are free to leave at any time.

Focus on nature and habitats – to ensure a long term effect, this project focusses on creating, improving and maintaining enough suitable habitats, to ensure a sustainable reproduction of farmland wildlife. The main idea is to use the natural occurring partridges to ensure the base of the new population. It’s essential that there are no releasing of partridges or hares in the project areas.
Monitoring of populations – to qualify the effort of habitat improvements, the local volunteers are monitoring the populations of hare and partridges by using a method called distance sampling.
Free professional counselling – we offer free counselling for the participants of the project on how to improve their farmlands to meet the demands as a suitable a habitat.
Cooperation and synergy – the foundation of this project is the cooperation between landowners across field boundaries and interests.

The local Hunters are often the main drivers in the guilds, while the farmers are important to get things done. By working together in guilds, they can help each other by improving the habitats on farmland areas.


A part of the project is monitoring the local populations of small game. This gives an estimat of population trends and occurrence of grey partridge and brown hare in Denmark. Some of the guilds has been subject for at study of how temporary elements/actions, like flower- and bare soil strips, benefits biodiversity on farmland. The results can be read here: http://dce.au.dk/udgivelser/vr/nr-201-250/abstracts/no-227-biodiversity-and-ecological-space-in-the-country-of-action/


Country Denmark
Level National

Starting date


Habitat Types

Farmland, Scrub/Grassland, Wetland

Protection status of the areas

No protection status


Species Caracteristics Huntable species, Protected species, Threatened species, Abundant species, Migratory species, Invasive Alien species
Species Type Birds, Mammals (other than large carnivores), Generalist predators
Name(s) of main species Lepus Europaeus (Brown Hare) and Perdix Perdix (Grey Partridge)

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities), Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data), Communication and education (for different target audiences e.g. hunters, the wider public), Policy work (e.g. positioning of hunting organisations, demonstrating conservation actions)


Leading partners The Danish Hunters Association - http://www.jaegerforbundet.dk/
Other partners Following organisations is part of a steering committee:DOF - www.dof.dk/ --> Ornithologist NGODN - www.dn.dk/ --> The Danish Society for Nature ConservationL&F - www.lf.dk/ --> Danish Farmers AssociationDyrenes beskyttelse - www.dyrenesbeskyttelse.dk/ --> Animal protection NGOFriluftsrådet - www.friluftsraadet.dk/ - Danish Outdoor Council NGOMiljøministeriet - http://mfvm.dk/ - Ministry of environment

Estimation of the budget (total or annual)

At the moment the annual budget is about 4.750.000,- DKK

Estimation of Human Resources needed

Administration is one project leader and five full time local wildgame managers employed by the Danish Hunters Association.An estimat of ca. 900 active members in the guilds (ca. 63.000 hectars participant area)


No. 227: Biodiversity and ecological space in the country of action. Oddershede, A., Høye, T.T., Frøslev, T.G. & Ejrnæs, R. 2017. Link:http://dce.au.dk/udgivelser/vr/nr-201-250/abstracts/no-227-biodiversity-and-ecological-space-in-the-country-of-action/