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Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP)

The National 4-H Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) teaches youth the fundamentals of wildlife ecology and management. Wildlife has great appeal for young people and can be a mechanism to further involve them in appreciating, understanding, and conserving our nation’s natural resources.

Recent research has shown that when young people spend time in the outdoors, they benefit mentally as well as physically. When these benefits are coupled with essential life skills such as oral and written communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and decision making—skills WHEP develops—you’ll understand why this conservation education program has won national awards!

Components of WHEP

Wildlife Identification and Knowledge

  • Understand basic ecological concepts
  • Identify wildlife and fish species
  • Demonstrate knowledge of wildlife biology and behavior (habitat and food needs)

Wildlife Management Practices

  • Evaluate habitat
  • Make land management recommendations

Management Plan

  • Develop, write, and present a wildlife management plan

How to Get Started

To get started in WHEP, contact your county Extension office and ask for information about the WHEP program.

Since this is a 4-H program, all participants in WHEP will need to be 4-H members to be eligible to compete in WHEP contests. 4-H’ers can participate as individuals or in teams of three or four; two teams per county are allowed. Contests are held during Project Achievement Days for junior 4-H’ers (ages 8 - 14) and during Club Congress for senior 4-H’ers (ages 14 - 18). Your Extension agent can provide these dates and tell you about any training sessions to help you learn more about implementing the program. These sessions are beneficial but not crucial to forming a successful WHEP team.

Once you have this information, get a copy of the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program: A Manual for Mississippi; recruit young people interested in conservation, go outdoors, and start studying and having fun.

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conservation education