Estonia, Vilsandi National Park
Vilsandi National Park is a group of islands located in the Baltic Sea, near the north-west coast of the Estonian islands of Saaremaa. The reserve was founded in 1993. Now its total area is 10,889 hectares, of which 940 hectares of water area. However, such a huge National Park Vilsandi did not immediately begin. In 1906, Arthur Toom, caretaker of the Vislandi lighthouse undertook to protect the birds on 6 islands. And in 1910 the islands of Vilsandi and Vaika received the status of 1910 as a status of ornithological reserves. In the future, they were added to about 100 sea rocky islands, which are real dolomitized coral reefs of the warm Silurian Sea.
Nowadays the following territories are included: Vilsandi Island, another 160 other islands, the western part of. Saaremaa and the peninsula of Hariland. So, the location of the Vilsandi National Park is the Kihekonna district in the Saare County. The reserve was created to protect the nature of the coastal landscape, its research, and of course the aim is to preserve the cultural heritage of the Western Estonian archipelago.
Vilsandi Island is the only population in the protected area, it is small – only 6 km long and only 3 km wide, the coastline of the island is completely rugged by bays, bays and capes.
The Vilsandi National Park is known primarily as a bird sanctuary. There are data on 247 species of birds, 114 of them nest in the spring on the territory of the reserve. In the waters of the reserve, mainly on the island of Innarahu, there is a large number of gray seals that bring offspring in snowless winters.
Vilsandi National Park
In Vilsandi National Park, there are about 600 plant species, including rare plants.
The reserve is of international importance and first of all it represents the value of the variety of bird species that stop, nest and feed here. Among 250 species, there are especially valuable, for example whole colonies of common eider. The swan-mute swan, the thin-knuckled guillemot, the ducks, the variegated tern, the golden bee-eater, the large and long-tailed crumbs and the sea sandpiper became very widespread. Data on 99 species of birds nesting in the Vilsandi National Park are recorded. In addition, the information is confirmed that the migration routes of many birds pass through Vilsandi, this is the white-fronted and black goose, the swan-swan and others.
The scientific department of the Vilsandi National Park is engaged in improving the ecology of the reserve. And also by regulating the size of the eider.
The tourist direction is well developed, it will be interesting to any visitor here. At your choice will be presented a large number of hiking routes, equipped with a sufficient number of observation platforms, for the convenience of bird watching.