Human domination of land has transformed ecosystems, modified ecological processes and influenced biodiversity composition across most of the terrestrial biosphere. Nevertheless, this global change does not necessarily translate into a total depletion of natural values. Innovative conservation actions are emerging as a promising strategy to enhance biodiversity, ecological resilience and ecosystem service delivery, as well as to retain ecological and evolutionary potential. For instance, rewilding projects have gained increasing attention from scientists, conservationists, practitioners, decision-makers and the media. Recovering the natural dynamics of ecosystems requires increasing ecosystem complexity while decreasing human intervention, which does not prevent interactions between people and nature from occurring if these are properly integrated in these restored self-sustaining ecosystems. Despite burgeoning interest in the ideas, the practical implementation of rewilding projects remains challenging. There is a pressing need for developing specific guidelines for monitoring progress in rewilding initiatives that are informed by the best science available. In this talk, we will present a novel approach on how to measure progress towards rewilding in a given area and we will revise the evidence available for facilitating sound decision-making in order to support local rewilding and restoration projects. Drawing on evidence from ecological research, we will introduce a bi-dimensional framework that uses indicators, state variables and targets describing the humanization intensity and the natural values of a certain region to measure its position in a gradient of wilderness. Then, we will illustrate this approach with case studies, in which we draw scenarios with low human intervention and the maximum functional complexity. The approach presented here will enable the operationalization of successful rewilding initiatives.