Vilsandi National Park, an area with the most islands, has the most maritime climate in Estonia.
The surface area of the reserve is 24,000 ha, 2/3 of it covered by the sea. The westernmost point in Estonia – Nootamaa Island – is located in the park.
The history of Vilsandi National Park dates back to 1910 when Vaika Bird Sanctuary, the first protected area in the Baltic States was established. Vaika Nature Reserve that was established in 1957 was renamed Vilsandi National Nature Reserve in 1971, which, in turn, became Vilsandi National Park in 1993. The objective of Vilsandi National Park is to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the coastal landscapes of the West Estonian archipelago.
The area of the national park belongs to the Natura 2000 network as an area of conservation and bird hosting of Vilsandi, Tagamõisa and Karala-Pilguse to protect the types of habitats of cross-European importance and the species and their habitats. In 1997, Vilsandi National Park was included in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Vilsandi National Park has been a part of the West Estonian archipelago biosphere reserve that belongs to the UNESCO network since 1990.
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