Activity and Events
Wildlife Habitat Education Program
The best way to get started in WHEP is to attend the WHEP
The practice session introduces 4-H'ers and coaches to the contest
activities. Start with the beginning tract, even if you have a
Senior team. Understanding the fundamentals is necessary for
developing an award-winning wildlife management plan and doing well
in the state contest.
Each year, a region is selected for the
state contest. Wildlife species associated with the region become the focus for the
contest. Each region has 16 to 20 species. For the
Wildlife Identification activity, eligible species are those listed
in the urban region (17 species) plus the announced region. Therefore, 4-H'ers focus on 33 to 37 species for Wildlife
Identification each year. The remaining contest activities
focus only on the 16 to 20 species in the announced region.
Use the handbook as the
study guide for learning about wildlife.
Some ideas to prepare for WHEP are:
- Go outdoors and identify wildlife signs, such as tracks.
- Give 4-H'ers 10-15 minutes to go outdoors and collect
items that wildlife eat. Use information in the
handbook to categorize the foods and identify which species in the list
consume the items.
- Visit a nature center or state park. Contact an
interpreter in advance and ask them to give a presentation about
the species on your list.
- Have 4-H'ers develop their own quizzes, study note cards
and presentations for studying wildlife characteristics and
habitat needs using resources on the Internet, such as eNature (www.enature.com)
or eBird (www.ebird.org).
- Ask an Audubon Society member to help with identifying
birds on the species list. Get some binoculars and observe
- Talk to the Regional Education Coordinator in your area
from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (1-800-364-4263) and
schedule a presentation(s) about wildlife identification, foods,
and concepts listed in the handbook.
- Talk with other WHEP coaches and 4-H leaders. Find out
how they train their WHEP teams.
Once the 4-H'ers are able to identify wildlife species and their
food needs, focus on understanding the wildlife practices. The
handbook is the "answer key" for questions about habitat needs and
management practices for wildlife. Preparation ideas are:
- Visit a nearby wildlife management area and ask a
wildlife biologist to describe the types of management
practices they conduct in the area.
- Call your Regional Education Coordinator with the
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (1-800-364-4263) and ask
them to teach your club about a particular wildlife
- Talk to your county forester (501-296-1940,
and schedule a presentation about prescribed fire, thinning and
other forest management practices.
- Ask a county forester or wildlife manager if a prescribed fire
is scheduled in your area, and get permission for observing this
practice - at a safe distance.
The Final Source
If information from a biologist differs from the
report what is in the handbook for the contest.
(The handbook contains
general information intended to cover regions of the United States
whereas specific locations may require management techniques
contrary to those described in the
Check out resources for
additional ideas about preparing for the WHEP contest.
Back to Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP)