Summary Native grasslands are considered to be one of Australia’s most threatened ecosystems, yet relatively little is known about human preferences and attitudes that contribute to continued degradation of these landscapes. In a study conducted in southeastern Australia, landholders were asked to assess the agricultural, ecological and aesthetic value of native grasslands and other rural landscapes depicted in colour photographs. The results confirm low preference for treeless landscapes. Landholders’ preferences for native grassland on their own property appeared most closely related to the perceived agricultural and aesthetic value of the grassland scene. This paper discusses the implication of these findings for programmes seeking to protect native grasslands on private properties.
Key words environmental attitudes, native grasslands, perception.