Pastoralists' perceptions of biodiversity and land management strategies in the arid Stony Plains region of South Australia: Implications for policy makers

Helen Waudby, Sophie Petit, Guy Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The implementation of rangeland biodiversity management strategies relies on the engagement and participation of key stakeholders, including local pastoralists (ranchers). Understanding pastoralists' knowledge of biodiversity, as well as their attitudes towards and perceptions of biodiversity management strategies, is fundamental for the development of efficacious rangeland management. This paper examines perceptions of biodiversity and land management strategies held by pastoralists in the Stony Plains region (SPR) of South Australia and reports on a survey, consisting of 45 questions, delivered to lessees and/or managers of pastoral leases within or on the edge of the SPR. Respondents generally agreed with prescribed land management strategies, but agreement did not mean that strategies were being implemented. The purchase of pastoral leases by government and/or conservation groups for biodiversity purposes was opposed strongly, which may present a barrier to collaborative land management. Pastoralists strongly agreed with several listed threats to biodiversity, but their feelings on climate-related threats were less strong. Attitudes to climate may have been influenced by above-average rainfall experienced during and preceding the survey period and by the climatic variability that characterises arid rangelands. Biodiversity conservation and the pastoral industry rely on collaborative rangeland management, non-bureaucratic communication, and an understanding among stakeholders of the attitudes and perceptions of other natural-resource users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume112
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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