Australian Mammal of the Year voting, week one: who’s got your vote?

Cosmos Magazine


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Voting for Australian Mammal of the Year 2023 is now open!

Visit our voting page here to learn more about the categories and to vote for your picks for Australian Mammal of the Year.

It’s been a busy first week in our mammo v mammo competition, but some early frontrunners have emerged from the pack.

The dugong (Dugong dugon) and Rakali (Australian water rat, Hydromys chrysogaster) are streaking ahead atop their class leaderboards in the inaugural Australian Mammal of the Year competition.

Dugongs have earned 36% of the vote in the Marine category, ahead of the Australian fur seal and southern right whale – both with 11% of the vote.

It’s a particularly impressive start for the Dugongs, which are in a league of their own early in the race for their category win – and the ultimate crown.

Meanwhile the Rakali has been similarly up and about early in the rodents category.

It holds 33% of the votes cast in its class, ahead of the Dusky and Mitchell’s hopping mice.

Australian water rat or rakali. Credit ken griffiths getty images 850
The Rakali – or Australian Water Rat – is currently leading the Australian rodents category. Credit: Ken Griffiths/Getty Images

Over in the Australian icons league are two monotremes applying early scoreboard pressure, with the platypus and short-beaked echidna accounting for two fifths of the votes cast between them.

Not unlikely their namesakes in the AFL, the kangaroos (in this case the reds and eastern greys) are languishing at the bottom of the ladder, sharing just five percent of the votes cast.

Things are much more competitive in the Bats category, with none of these winged mammals getting carried away in the first quarter of the knockout rounds.

The grey-headed flying fox, ghost bat, spectacled flying-fox and southern bent-wing bat are all within fifty votes of one another in a competitive early contest.

Among the macropods, the western grey kangaroo and antilopine wallaroos might be taking a ‘one week at a time’ strategy, but they’ll need plenty of help from their supporters as they trail their superstar cousins, including Western Australia’s favourite sons (and daughters) the Quokka by quite a way.

Australia’s possums also have two contenders who’ve come out hard early, with the sugar glider and mountain pygmy possum bursting out of the blocks to share almost half of the total votes cast in their category.

Green ringtail 946151010
Can the green ring-tailed possum (Pseudochirops archeri) climb back into contention? Credit Getty Images

But there are plenty of potentials further down the order, like the savannah glider, scaly-tailed and green ringtail possums.

And the northern quoll is batting above its average in the Dasyuridae category, ahead of its fancied cousins including the eastern and spotted-tailed (tiger) quolls.

Surprisingly, the Tasmanian devil is battling to keep pace with the leaders, with the the Apple Isle’s favourite emblem languishing in fourth place.

Voting to find category favourites for the final crown for Australian Mammal of the Year continues until August 11. Learn more and vote here and Australian Community Media mastheads online.

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