Whether alligator snapping turtles, butterflies, white-tailed deer or red-tailed hawks, all animals have basic habitat needs that must be supplied in order for their species to survive and thrive. What can be learned and done in the 4-H Wildlife project is limited only by your imagination and knowledge. Study the habits and habitat of Missouri wildlife, learn about plant succession and it's affect on various species, identify wildlife foods, identify wildlife species by their tracks, skulls, furs or feathers. You are encouraged to put your knowledge to practical use by designing, implementing and completing a habitat improvement project.
Resources for all levels
Publications that can be ordered from the Missouri Department of Conservation using this form:
- Feeding Backyard Birds
- Introduction to Missouri's Fur Bearers
- Enjoying Missouri's Birds
- Missouri Marsh Birds
WI724 Wildlife Conservation 1
- Learn about the history of wildlife conservation
- Explore the values of wildlife to humans
WI721 Wildlife Conservation 2
- Learn about wildlife habitats
- Explore wildlife communities and ecosystems
WI722 Wildlife Conservation 3
- Learn about the interface between people and wildlife
- Explore why and how we manage wildlife
4-H Wildlife & Conservation Programs
The 4-H Wildlife program is designed to teach youth about the fundamentals of wildlife science and basics of wildlife management. Youth will learn that to manage wildlife means to manage habitat and populations.
The Missouri 4-H Wildlife project is in the development phase. Lesson plans, curriculum guides, incentive and award programs, and resource materials have been and will continue to be developed. Contact your county extension office for a copy of these materials. The national 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) will serve as the base from which to build the program. WHEP utilizes a national manual and contest format to encourage the study of wildlife concepts and basic management practices. Youth are also encouraged to do "hands on" habitat improvement projects, large or small, in an urban or rural setting, as individuals or small groups.
- Identify common birds, mammals, and fish of Missouri
- Identify common wildlife foods
- Understand basic wildlife management concepts
- Interpret wildlife habitat from aerial photographs
- Understand the differences found in Missouri's three eco-regions: Eastern Deciduous Forest, Great Plains Grassland-Tallgrass/Mixed Prairie, Southeast Mixed Forest
- Know the recommended wildlife management practices for selected species
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills learned by a variety of "hands on" activities or projects.
- Establish and/or improve wildlife habitat.
4-H members are encouraged to initiate and complete wildlife habitat projects, either as individuals or groups…on private or public lands…in urban or rural settings.
Components of a habitat project
- Written plan
- Habitat assessment
- Practices planned
- How project will be evaluated
- Aerial map/sketch
- Implementation log/journal
- Photos – before and after
- Story – lessons learned, skills developed, knowledge gained, personal growth, etc
Habitat projects are to be the work of the youth. Adult help is permitted as appropriate but activities completed by the youth and those by cooperating adults must be delineated. Adult assistance is more appropriate for the junior division that the senior.
Other 4-H Projects with Wildlife/Conservation Components
Learn about Missouri's natural resources and how to enjoy and protect through hands-on activities. Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, 4-H members may enroll and participate in this conservation project. MDC provides awards for each of the 13 achievement levels. Adult leader required.
MDC provides free educational resources, but it must be ordered by an adult leader. Activities are available online.
Hunting and outdoor skills
Understanding wildlife and habitat from a hunter's perspective.
- Wildlife Identification
- Hunting's role in wildlife management
- Understanding hunting regulations
- Understanding habits and habitat of specific game species
- Observation and concealment skills
- Part of the 4-H Shooting Sports program, requires a certified leader
Virtual parks and wildlife
Uses computer simulations to understand wildlife and the interrelationships of nature. Suggested software include:
- Habitatics (MDC)
Check with state 4-H for the latest software recommendations and sources.
4-H exhibits and competitions are part of the fun of the Missouri State Fair. You won't want to miss this special event; visit the 4-H building to see the projects of our 4-H youth or catch the judging competitions. Whatever your niche, there is something for everyone. Bring the family! The Missouri State Fair is located at the intersection of Highways 50 and 65, and less than 20 miles south of I-70, Sedalia is roughly an hour from Kansas City, Columbia and Jefferson City.
Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP)
WHEP is a 4-H youth natural resource program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to junior and senior level (ages 8-18) youth in the United States.