How Does the Presence of Livestock Influence Landscape Preferences? An Image-Based Approach.

Keywords: Landscape preferences, Animal geography, Livestock, Rural landscapes, European Landscape Convention

Abstract

The European Landscape Convention (ELC) emphasises that the public should be extensively involved in the processes of landscape protection, planning and management. In spite of the emerging interest in the relationship between animals and landscapes in the study of animal geography, little is known about the influence of the landscape-animal component on public aspirations and the values attributed to landscape. We conducted a survey in the form of an image-based questionnaire in order to evaluate the influence of certain animal species, in this case livestock, on landscape preferences. The results show that all grazing animals have a positive impact on landscape preferences, although some species seem more popular than others. The preference for scenes with animals decreases, however, when compared with scenes with other landscape features (vegetation, traditional buildings or water). Significant differences in preferences for scenes with animals were observed according to certain sociodemographic variables such as gender, familiarity with the landscape and direct involvement in livestock farming. Of the groups surveyed, livestock farmers showed the strongest preferences for the scenes with animals. The findings of this study can be applied within the citizen participation policies encouraged by the ELC, as well as in the protection, management and planning of rural landscapes in which livestock is an appreciable feature.

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Published
2019-07-01
How to Cite
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Serrano-Montes, J. L.; Martínez-Ibarra, E.; Arias-García, J. How Does the Presence of Livestock Influence Landscape Preferences? An Image-Based Approach. LO 2019, 71, 1-18.
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