There have been quite a few questions lately about 'eBird hotspots', most wondering why their hotspot suggestion hasn't yet been approved. Hotspots are an ongoing issue at eBird, mostly because the system we have in place is suffering from success! The concept is a great one, and we've got lots of hotspots in the database now, just over 30,000. The concept was pioneering at the time, 2002, to let eBirders create hotspots. Where we have a problem is actually finding the time to go in and approve all the hotspot suggestions. That job falls to Chris, Marshall and me, and despite trying to keep up with it we have fallen behind. Right now there are about 5,000 pending! The only reason we don't approve a hotspot request is if it already exists (a common problem) or if the place is a personal location like someone's backyard. In any case, there are many requests languishing, and that means that we have to change the process.
In some states people have stepped up to become hotspot editors, and we'd like to pursue this model nationwide and countrywide throughout the rest of the Western Hemisphere. These individuals essentially manage all the hotspot requests for the state (or country) and have the power to merge, move and rename existing hotspots. In places like California, Texas, and North Carolina we have people actively managing hotspots and the process goes smoothly. We need help elsewhere though! So, if anyone out there wants to help manage hotspots for their state, please get in touch with us. After an initial bit of work, it probably would take about 10 minutes per week/state.
Let us know if you'd like to help and we can give you the tools!