Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is bio-geographically one of the richest tracts of peninsular India.
The terrain is undulating and the altitude ranges from 650 to 1158 meters. Tracts of semi-evergreen,
moist deciduous and dry-deciduous forests constitute the main forest types.
The Protected Area (PA) is rich in diversity of flora and fauna with many endangered, threatened
and rare species. It is a constituent of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and also Elephant Reserve No.7,
harbouring the world’s largest recorded population of Asiatic elephant.
Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary is significant because of ecological and geographic continuity with
other protected areas such as Bandipur and Rajeev Gandhi (Nagarahole) Tiger Reserves of Karnataka in
north-eastern portion and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu in south-eastern side offering an unique
eco system enriched with wildlife, forming natural corridor for the seasonal migration of long ranging
animals within the greater conservation unit.
It is potentially one of the best habitats for Asiatic Elephants. Other large herbivores like Gaurs,
Deers etc and carnivores like the tigers and Leopards, bears etc range freely in this tract, with the
advantage of the confluence of the 3 major wildlife Protected Areas (PAs) of the country, spanning 3
states. Floristically also Wayanad is much different from the other PAs of the state in having predominantly
a dry and moist deciduous characteristic replete with large extent of bamboo brakes, marshy areas, vayals
and other pasture lands together with perennial water resources helping to stage a large influx of animals
to the area in summer.
Wayanad District as such is distinct with preponderance of tribes. The life style of tribes revolves
around forests. Many tribes and non-tribes depend on forests for livelihood. There is high density of human
settlements within the PA.