KMTR forms a part of the Western Ghats, which is recognized as one of the two mega biodiversity hotspots and centers of endemism in India. KMTR forming part of the southern Western Ghats includes part of the Agasthiyarmalai Biosphere Reserve which is recognized as one of the five important centers of Plant species diversity in India and as one of the 24 Micro centers of endemism in India. Owing to wide variations in the topographical geomorphological, edaphic and climatic features, the forests of Kalakad-Mundanthurai reserve (KMTR) consequently justify their wide variations in floristic composition. Hence KMTR within Western Ghats is a Super Hot Spot of Biodiversity. The Reserve is the southernmost home to some of the charismatic and endangered mammals such as the Nilgiri Tahr and the Tiger.
One of the large patches of Non-Equatorial Rain Forests: KMTR bears a large contiguous tract of about 400 sq.kms of wet evergreen forests located away from the equatorial region. Besides a rich array of flora and fauna, it harbours a large number of threatened species including the Lion Tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus), a flagship species of rainforests in the Western Ghats.