Introducing: Mammalwatching Rankings

When we rebuilt the website earlier this year we promised to introduce a new feature, the Mammalwatching Rankings. This was an idea raised during the community survey we ran a couple of years back and something that Re:wild, who generously funded the new site, also were keen on. And … drumroll … the listers’ league table is now live. You too can claim your spot in the table, and upload your lists, for the world to see!

Many mammalwatchers do not consider themselves to be listers I know. Others, including me, don’t really prioritise particular groups. But whether or not you live life according to your list, please do think about sharing what you have seen here. We hope these league tables will encourage more mammalwatchers to share information and so help motivate more mammalwatching. And ultimately that can be good for conservation. It is also meant to be fun. Really.

Right now you can share your primate and cat lists, but soon we will add other groups of often-listed mammals including cetaceans, ungulates and more (send in your requests). And when you upload the list of what you’ve seen, others can click on it, take a look and make comments along the lines of “Wow. Where did you see your African Golden Cat?”.

If you don’t have a list then you can create one from the Excel sheets here, or using Scythebill for example. Though please save and upload whatever you create as a PDF not a .doc or .xls. Fair warning, trying to remember what you have seen and where can take a toll on your sanity as you try to reconcile notes, photos and distant memories with taxonomic changes. Believe it or not though that it might also be a happy journey down memory lane and generate a few new ticks in the process.

If we all use the same taxonomies for our lists, at least for these league tables, it would make comparisons easier. Ah … nirvana. People can have very strong views I know on this …  so we will take what we can get. I want to update my taxonomies every year.

Now that you are, I hope, inspired, you can login to your account and add your lists here.

Here’s a 6 minute video if you need a bit more help. I am quite proud of this video. I know that will end the instant my kids see it and send me cringe emojis (and yes I just had to google cringe emoji to make sure they are a thing and I will recognise them when they arrive).

Please let me know what you think, whether the system is working well for you, and which groups of mammals ought to be added next to the rankings.

But please no





Post author

Jon Hall


  • jonaslivet

    Hello Jon, exciting news and add-on to the website! I do keep my listing with both captive and wild mammals observed. Would this be acceptable in the ranking? Thanks in advance for your feedback. Jonas

    • Jon Hall

      Thanks Jonas … I think these lists really should only be for animals seen in the wild, even if we might have different ideas what “wild” means. Would it be difficult for you to filter out the captive species?

  • Warren Gilson

    Great addition to the site, Jon. Roll on September when I go to Sumatra and can start looking for cats and primates 😀

  • Warren Gilson

    One point on the cat checklist download – the seen column is formatted as text. It needs to be formatted as number so that the tally box will work 😉

  • Jon Hall

    Thanks and well spotted Warren! With eyes like that you will see everything in Sumatra 🙂 Now fixed I hope

  • JanEbr

    I know your attitude towards birders 🙂 But have you considered implementing listing the way birders commonly do it? Typically, the website implements a list of species and the user then ticks every species that they have seen (ideally also allowing automated import from a properly formatted table instead of ticking hundreds – thousands if you are you or Vladimir – of items in a form), thus creating a database of “who has seen what”. This then allows easy ranking of users, but also of species – how many people have seen what, filtering for categories (primates, cats…) etc.. On one hand it’s a bit more work, on the other hand the data is much more exploitable than PDFs with lists. Just a suggestion to consider. I will personally of course compete in any kind of listing challenge there is 🙂
    For the current format I would also suggest to consider allowing simply a list of all mammals – at least it would be nice to have a leaderboard in that number, wouldn’t it? If this is not something you want to have and want to stick with orders, then you definitely must add rodents, because that’s what separates the truly dedicated mammalwatchers from the common folk!

  • Jon Hall

    Thanks Jan. After seeing 15-20 million Queleas in Chad coming into roost I feel I may have turned a corner in my appreciation of birding…. A little bit anyway. To answer your comments then yes the sort of idea you had in mind was an early aspiration but it is technically a lot more complicated than the current system. It would also become even more complicated I guess when taxonomy changes as we wouldn’t know where to automatically assign people’s ticks for splits and lumps etc and I was worried that it would become a bit of a chore for users. Anyway, something to keep in mind for sure. And I hope soon to have a total mammal list option up there but decided to start small for the moment. Rodents! Definitely! And bats. I’m thinking shrews might be the last to have a league table though… especially as most of us are in single digits …

  • Antee

    Just some quick notes.
    On my computer the lists looks very fine but on my phone it looks… awful with strange line breaks.

    Also some names are missing. Don´t know why that is.

  • Lennartv

    Could you perhaps have another look at my list Jon? I uploaded one which was added to the list, but it disappeared after I corrected a typo in the description. I think it has to be approved again or perhaps it has disappeared altogether. In that case I can of course make a new one.

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