Science & Research


The Service is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

  • Overview

    The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge has placed a high priority on scientific research by conducting colonial waterbird surveys, performing fishery assessments, undertaking research on common terns, cooperating with Michigan Department of Natural Resources on waterfowl surveys, monitoring bald eagle populations, funding evaluations of long-term trend data collected under the Christmas Bird Count program and monitoring of dragonflies, and translating scientific data about the health of the Detroit River and western Lake Erie in biennial State of the Strait Conferences and publications.

  • Fisheries Conservation


    Fisheries biologists at the Alpena Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office conduct fish population research, native species restoration, aquatic habitat restoration, help monitor and eradicate aquatic invasive species, and provide outreach and education opportunities for the public. They also work closely with staff at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and other nearby refuges to provide fishery and habitat assistance. 

    DISCOVER MORE about the specific programs and work being done at the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office 

    Visit the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office website. 

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  • Hawk Watch

  • State of the Strait


    The State of the Strait is a Canada-U.S. one-day conference held every two years that brings together government managers, researchers, students, environmental and conservation organizations, and concerned citizens to assess ecosystem status and provide advice to improve research, monitoring, and management. Conference location alternates between the United States and Canada. Past themes include: Monitoring for Sound Management, Status and Trends of Key Indicators for the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie, Ecological Benefits of Habitat Modification and Use of Remote Sensing and GIS to Better Manage the Huron-Erie Corridor. 

    After the conference is held, a report summarizing conference research and findings is compiled and released to the public. You can find an electronic copy of each report and more information on the conference at

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  • Refuge Research

  • Research Publications

  • Species Lists

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    Coming Soon...