Unesco World Heritage status could better protect the last pitched battle fought on British soil, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has said.
Culloden in 1746 saw forces loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated by the Duke of Cumberland's government army.
Fought near Inverness, it involved the deaths of about 1,600 men - 1,500 of them Jacobites.
NTS believes the Unesco designation would prevent housing developments encroaching on the site.
The trust, which manages the battlefield, has been concerned about homes being constructed at the boundaries of its existing conservation area.
Culloden's operations manager, Raoul Curtis-Machin, said the Unesco status would make it harder to build new properties at locations visible from the battlefield.
The trust has already started researching how to secure a world heritage designation.
Mr Curtis-Machin said: "Culloden was way more than just a battle.
"The ramifications and resonance after the Battle of Culloden were huge for Scotland and particularly Highland culture."
He said a Unesco World Heritage designation would create a "buffer zone" and "stronger protection" of the landscape around the battlefield.