The Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of Lake Andes and Karl E. Mundt National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) and Lake Andes Wetland Management District (WMD). The Complex headquarters is located on the east side of Lake Andes.
Lake Andes NWR was established in 1936 under Executive Order. It consists of 938 acres of fee title lands and a 4,700-acre easement. Karl Mundt NWR was established in 1974 for bald eagle protection and is closed to the public. It currently consists of 780 acres of fee title lands and a 305-acre easement. Lake Andes WMD was established in 1961. The 13-county District includes a mix of fee title tracts, wetland, and grassland easements totaling in excess of 82,000 acres.
The Complex provides for life requirements of threatened and endangered species - particularly the bald eagle. Station objectives include providing habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds. Maintenance of natural diversity of the prairie ecosystem is a major goal.
The area hosts migrant waterfowl populations, which can be measured by the tens of thousands during peak fall and spring migration periods. The bald eagle has an obvious presence during those periods. The Karl Mundt Unit serves as an invaluable roost area for eagles - numbers of which may approach 200 during harsh winters.