The 162 ha Vilm WILDIsland is part of South East Rügen Biosphere Reserve, Germany. Vilm WILDIsland is covered by old broadleaf forests with small lagoons, sandy beaches and attractive coastal features. Vilm WILDIsland is located five kilometres east from the Rügen Island. It is the oldest protected area in Germany, and has been a Nature Reserve since 1936. Since 1990 it is part of the core zones of the South East Rügen Biosphere Reserve. The ancient forests on Vilm WILDIsland have never been managed by forestry. It is one of the most natural forest stand and wildest coasts in the South Baltic region. The strictly protected WILDIsland Vilm with a non-intervention management has developed in natural succession for many decades.
European Wilderness Quality Standard Audit System
The 162 ha Vilm WILDIsland was subject of a Quick-Audit in 2017 and meets the Gold Wilderness Quality Standard. A European Wilderness Quality Standard Full-Audit is scheduled for 2018.
- Protected area: South East Rügen Biosphere Reserve
- WILDIsland: Vilm WILDIsland
- Wilderness Quality Standard: Gold
- Country: Germany
- Size of the protected area: 23,500 ha
- Size of the Island: 171 ha: 94 ha terrestrial, 77 ha marine
- Size of the WILDIsland: 162 ha: 85 ha terrestrial, 77 ha marine
- European Wilderness Quality Standard Audit: 2017
- WILDIsland Uniqueness: Small island located close to the Rügen Island with old beech and mixed forest and well protected beaches
- Number of visitors per year to the protected area: approx. 900,000
- Number of visitors per year to the WILDIsland: approx. 10,000
Vilm WILDIsland represents a piece of native wild forest and coastal landscape of high integrity. Vilm WILDIsland has great importance as a local hotspot of biodiversity that depends on spontaneous natural processes and ecosystem dynamics. It contains representative flora and fauna species, typical for ancient forests and coastal habitats. It is for example a permanent nesting place of the white-tailed sea eagle. The shallow coastal waters surrounding Vilm WILDIsland provide a resting area for migratory birds and a safe refuge for various species of geese, like the greylag, bean and greater white-fronted geese.
Wilderness Tourism Experience
The South East Rügen Biosphere Reserve is located 20 km north-east of Stralsund, the main access point to the Rügen Island and the biosphere reserve and Vilm WILDIsland. The area of biosphere reserve is accessible by train, but also by car and buses. The main attraction of the South East Rügen Biosphere Reserve is the significant and diverse cultural landscape, including coast and sea, representing almost 95% of the biosphere reserve area. Visitors have many options to start with easy, moderate as well as demanding hiking trips to explore the diversity of this area. Access to Vilm WILDIsland is permitted only for guided tours and for participants of workshops at the International Academy for Nature Conservation of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz – BfN). Visitors from guided tours are impressed and enlightened to experience Vilm WILDIsland.