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March WILDERness: Round of 32

We successfully completed the first round in my first-ever (and perhaps only—it’s a lot of work!) March WILDERness bracket. My followers on Facebook and Instagram picked favorites in 32 different matchups between different animals, and now we’re down to 32 species remaining.

Here’s the bracket following the March 30 games:

March Wilderness 2022 Bracket

Round One Thoughts:

We had quite a mix in the first round: blowouts, a few close contests, and a few big (IMO) upsets. You can see my predictions for Round 1… not bad (my Last 4 is still alive, but one of my quarterfinalists is gone). For those who filled out brackets, how are your predictions doing?

Biggest Wins in Round 1… tell me if you notice a pattern:

Spirit Bear 36-4 Amazonian Coral Snake
Long-tailed Weasel 33-2 Fer-de-lance
African Leopard 33-3 Yacare Caiman

Those poor reptiles…

Closest Games in Round 1:

Roseate Spoonbill 18-17 Long-crested Eagle (Double Overtime)
American Badger 19-18 Humpback Whale (Double Overtime… same day)
Bare-nosed Wombat 20-19 Scarlet Macaw (Overtime)
Black-flanked Rock Wallaby 18-17 Whale Shark

Biggest Surprises (to me) in Round 1:

Crested Owl (15-seed) over Ground Pangolin (2)
Sword-billed Hummingbird (12) over Baird’s Tapir (5)

Birds over mammals is quite surprising to me, given the makeup of my audience (which isn’t as bird-centric), even if in one case one of the birds was an owl. Neither of these games were particularly close, either.

My Predictions: Here were my picks for the first round…

Max's Round 1 Predictions

Breakdown of the remaining participants:

Terrestrial Mammals: 20 of 29
Aquatic Mammals: 2 of 3
Birds: 9 of 22
Reptiles/Amphibians: 1 of 6
Bugs: 0 of 3
Fish: 0 of 1

My Picks for the Best Matchups of the Round of 32:

African Elephant vs. American Pika (1 vs. 8, Salad Region)… Pika won 25-16
Black-and-white Owl vs. Red-eyed Tree Frog (7 vs. 2, Beautiful Region)… Frog won 23-20!
American Badger vs. Great Gray Owl (12 vs. 4, Meats Region)… Badger won 23-22 in Overtime!
American Marten vs. African Leopard (6 vs. 3, Meats Region)… Leopard won 19-17!

Game Schedule:

Here’s the schedule I’ll try to adhere to every day on Facebook and Instagram. Folks will vote, and the next morning I’ll tally the results and note the winner here in bold green for all those playing at home.


Sunday, March 27
(10) Long-tailed Weasel vs. (2) Orca – Final Score: 19-21
(11) Northern Tamandua vs. (3) Short-beaked Echidna – Final Score: 8-32
(1) African Elephant vs. (8) American Pika – Final Score: 16-25
(5) Marvelous Spatuletail vs. (13) Black-flanked Rock Wallaby – Final Score: 28-14

Monday, March 28
(1) Lilac-breasted Roller vs. (8) Marico Sunbird – Final Score: 32-6
(7) Bighorn Sheep vs. (2) American Bison – Final Score: 12-26
(6) American Marten vs. (3) African Leopard – Final Score: 17-19
(12) Sword-billed Hummingbird vs. (4) Roseate Spoonbill – Final Score: 21-16

Tuesday, March 29
(1) Aardvark vs. (8) White Rhinoceros – Final Score: 15-30
(11) Bare-nosed Wombat vs. (3) Hippopotamus – Final Score: 27-18
(11) Dusky Dolphin vs. (3) Spirit Bear – Final Score: 15-29
(12) American Badger vs. (4) Great Gray Owl – Final Score: 23-22 (OT)

Wednesday, March 30
(7) Black-and-white Owl vs. (2) Red-eyed Tree Frog – Final Score: 20-23
(10) Resplendent Quetzal vs. (15) Crested Owl – Final Score: 30-10
(12) Kirk’s Dik-dik vs. (4) Mountain Gorilla – Final Score: 23-18
(1) Grizzly Bear vs. (8) Puma – Final Score: 21-19


As a reminder, you can participate by voting on my Facebook page, or my Instagram page, and check back here for updates!


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