U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Michigan Islands
National Wildlife Refuge

common tern on nest

Lakes Michigan and Huron, MI   
E-mail: michiganislands@fws.gov
Phone Number: 906-586-9851, 989-777-5930
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Common terns nest on Michigan Islands Refuge.
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Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of eight islands in Lakes Michigan and Huron. Thunder Bay and Scarecrow islands in Thunder Bay (near Alpena, MI), and Big and Little Charity islands in Saginaw Bay are managed by Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw, MI. Seney National Wildlife Refuge has management resonsibility for Gull, Pismire, Hat, and Shoe islands, part of the Beaver Island Group in the northern portion of Lake Michigan. In 1970, Scarecrow, Pismire, and Shoe islands were officially designated as Michigan Islands Wilderness Area.

Big Charity and Thunder Bay islands have lighthouses and keeper's quarters.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The islands provide habitat for migratory birds and colonial nesting birds. They are also home to the Federally threatened dwarf lake iris and Pitcher's thistle.

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Michigan Islands Refuge was established by Executive Order in 1943 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.

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The refuge is closed to the public.

Recreation and Education Opportunities
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Resource values are maintained by natural processes. The refuge is monitored through periodic visits to ensure that these values have not been compromised. Cultural history research has been conducted under Special Use Permits. A Comprehensive Conservation Plan for this refuge has been drafted.