KMTR is a pristine forest area with perennial flow of River Thamirabarani and its tributaries. It is a Hot Spot Plant diversity in Western Ghats and significant for endemism. The Tiger Reserve is popularly known as “River Sanctuary”. It is a Field Learning Centre recognized by World Bank for transmitting skills on successful Eco Development initiatives for biodiversity conservation. Multi feathers to the area – World Heritage site and World Agasthiyarmalai Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO, 1st Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu and 17th Tiger Reserve in India. KMTR consisting of 1st Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary declared in 1962 and Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary during 1976. Part of Agasthiyarmalai Landscape located in the Southern Western Ghats and surrounding villages in Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar, Madurai and Thenis Districts.
The Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve was created in 1988 by combining Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary (251 km) and Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary (567 km), both established in 1962. Notification of 77 km of parts of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests in adjacent Kanyakumari district, added to the reserve in April 1996, is pending. A 400 km2 (150 sq mi) core area of this reserve has been proposed as a national park.The continuation of "Project Tiger" in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve for fiscal year 2010-2011, at the cost of Rs. 19433,000, was approved by the National Tiger Conservation Authority on 28 August 2010.