Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve was constituted during April 1988 as the 1st Tiger Reserve of the Tamil Nadu State and 17th Tiger Reserve of the country. 895.39 Sq.Km is the Core area of the Tiger Reserve consisting of 567.47 sq.km of Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary, 250.64 sq.km Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary and 77.28 sq.km of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests.
The Mundanthurai sanctuary was declared as Nation’s first tiger sanctuary in the year 1962 vide Government of Tamilnadu notification with a visionary approach of Tiger conservation much before the focus of Tiger conservation at the National level. Kalakad Sanctuary was declared in 1976 under section 18 of the wildlife protection Act, 1972. The Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve was created in 1988 by combining Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary and Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary and later on part of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve forests were also included and the reserve consists an extent of 895 sq km.
The Government have declared the area of 895 Sq.Kms (89539.36 Hectares) in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve as critical tiger habitat with the approval of National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is popular for its biodiversity and endemism forms part of major areas of Agasthiyarmalai Biosphere Reserve which is recognized in World network of biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It has also been recognized as a World Natural Heritage site. The reserve borders with Kerala on the western front, Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary on the southern side, Nellai Wildlife Sanctuary on the Northern side and surrounded by agricultural lands and villages on the Eastern front. The core of KMTR is one of the five centres of plant diversity and endemism in India recognized by IUCN.