Management activities such as controlling non-native invasive species, wildlife inventories, and habitat monitoring are conducted on the islands. Activities like these help to maintain biodiversity of habitat and native species. The location of the refuge and its island habitat has attracted researchers interested in waterbird population dynamics. The islands have served as research sites for the Service and colleagues for many years. These islands offer rare opportunities to study the changes that are occurring on the landscape in the absence of human disturbance. Research studies conducted on refuge islands aim to address aspects of waterbird conservation across the Great Lakes region.
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The dwarf lake iris is listed on the Endangered Species List and is only found in select habitats in the Great Lakes region.