Anting in review: A three-year wait

on 6th August 2008

Nature in Singapore, an on-line bulletin of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, has just published a review article on anting that is relevant to the local birding scene.

The anting phenomenon was first publicised to the local birding community in October 2005 when BESG posted a note by Kelvin KP Lim who observed it in 1988.

Until then, local birders were totally unaware of anting – use of ants by birds for feather maintenance. Since then, there have been more than a few observations, mainly by mynas.

This article was originally sent to Nature Watch, flagship of the Nature Society (Singapore) for possible publication. However, after nearly three years and having yet to receive any indication from the editor as to whether the document is accepted or rejected, I have totally lost hope of the article ever being published in that magazine.

I reluctantly came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, the contents could be a tad embarrassing to leaders of the local birding flock.

So on 29th July 2008, I revised the manuscript and submitted it to Nature in Singapore. What a breadth of fresh air! That very same day, I received an acknowledgment note from the editor, followed by a letter saying that the manuscript would be sent for review, and yet another note saying that the article has been accepted for publication. Wow! All within a day!

After languishing for nearly three years in the computer of Nature Watch’s editor, the article at last managed to see light of day in Nature in Singapore after only eight days. I would prefer it to appear within three days but what the hack! Eight days is so much better than three years.

Kudos to Nature in Singapore!

YC Wee
August 2008

In view of the article, the various posts on anting have been deleted. Anyone interested in reading the account can get a PDF copy HERE

Image of ants by Johnny Wee.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

9 Responses

  1. A good example of the ancient Latin motto:
    (Don’t let the bastards wear you down)

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