What you'll do
Discover Minnesota's diverse wildlife habitat in prairies, forests, wetlands or your own back yard. Learn about wildlife populations, diversity, what impacts their habitats, and how to become a steward of the land. Activities may include tracking wildlife, building nesting boxes and exploring careers such as wildlife biologist or naturalist.
Levels of learning
Get started with 4-H'ers in your area
- Find a club near you or contact your local 4-H office for more info.
Get started on your own
4-H Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP)
4-H WHEP is a hands-on environmental education program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to youth. It provides participants in grades 3-13 an opportunity to test their wildlife knowledge in a friendly competition in teams of 3-4 similarly aged individuals led by a local 4-H volunteer coach. The winning senior WHEP team (14-19 years old) will attend the annual National WHEP Contest, typically held the last full week of July.
Learn more about the National 4-H WHEP competition.
Download the Wildlife Habitat Education Program manual.
Project resources for volunteers
Find volunteer support materials for this project and much more on the volunteer site.
To volunteer with 4-H in your area, contact your local 4-H office.
Fairs and exhibits
- Explain some factors that threaten or endanger animals species. Or explore a species that went extinct and why it happened.
- Build a bird or bat house, nesting structure, hibernaculum, animal shelter or feeder
- Show a photo you took, a sketch you drew or a poem or story you wrote about your favorite wildlife encounter
- Display a collection of wildlife scat (droppings), skulls or skins. How do they differ? Why?
- Show how wildlife can be classified into herbivores, carnivores or omnivores
- Write a wildlife landscape habitat plan
- How does a wild animal camouflage itself? How does camouflage differ from one habitat to another?
- Make a display that explains What is the food chain?
- Explain the life cycle of your favorite wild animal in a video, poster or display.
- What a judge is looking for (evaluation sheet)
4-H record keeping
In some counties, record keeping is required for fairs.
Future study and careers
The University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences offers majors in biology and ecology, evolution and behavior. You could also study fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology.
Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems. Naturalists study the relationships between species and their ecosystems.
Reviewed in 2022