Vilsandi archipelago

Country/territory: Estonia

IBA criteria met: A1, B1a, B3a, C1, C2, C3 (2022)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 44,862 ha

Eesti Ornitiliigiaühing (EOÜ)

Site description (2000 baseline)
A large complex of shallow (<5 m) bays on the western coast of Saaremaa island, with many small islets and some lakes. Vegetation includes reedbeds, coastal meadows, and forest. The main land-uses are nature-conservation projects and research, and grazing of cattle and sheep.

Key biodiversity
Vilsandi archipelago is an important breeding, staging and wintering area for waterbirds, especially wildfowl, and notably Polysticta stelleri in winter. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Larus canus (400 pairs), Sterna caspia (3-4 pairs).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Vilsandi archipelago. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.