Australian Graziers value sparse trees in their pastures: A viewshed analysis of Photo-elicitation

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Kate Sherren
  • Joern Fischer
  • Jerome Pink
  • Jenny Stott
  • John Stein
  • Hwan-Jin Yoon

The temperate grazing region of southeastern Australia is experiencing a rapid decline in tree cover that threatens key ecosystem functions. Graziers are stewards of most of the trees remaining outside reserves, and hold the power to reverse the decline. Influencing graziers' decision making about vegetation management requires an understanding of their landscape values. We asked 25 graziers to photograph features they considered significant on their farms. Their choices were analyzed using viewsheds, the spatial delineations of all areas visible in a photograph. Photos taken by landholders depicted woody vegetation more often than would be expected by chance, particularly the isolated and scattered trees that are declining most rapidly. Grazier awareness and appreciation of isolated and scattered trees should be harnessed by policymakers keen to reverse their decline. More generally, our work demonstrates the utility of simultaneously employing photo-elicitation and quantitative viewshed analysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)412-422
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 04.2011
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Ecosystems Research - Australia, Lachlan catchment, landholder values, native vegetation, New South Wales, Photo-elicitation, photograph footprints, photography, ranchers, viewshed analysis