This sanctuary is located in the lowlands of Kerala. Its altitude is about 35-523 m in the Nijayapilli peak. Its area extends to about 25.16 square kilometers. The annual rainfall in this region is 2500 mm and the forest type is tropical semi-evergreen and tropical deciduous. Other than 250 various species of birds, there are mammals like elephants, leopard, sloth bear and porcupine. Thattekkad is Kerala's first officially recognised bird sanctuary. Established in 1983, the lush green sanctuary has more than 300 recorded species of forest and water birds. While many of them are resident birds, some are migratory. Important birds found here include large falcon, gray jungle fowl etc.

The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, also famous as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is situated in the KothamangalamTaluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar River. Close to Munnar along the lower reaches of the Western Ghats, the wildlife sanctuary attracts nature lovers especially bird watchers in droves. Thattekad bird sanctuary was developed by the untiring efforts of India's birdman Dr Salim Ali.

The wildlife sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr.Salim Ali many years previously. Ali described Thattekad in the 1930's as the richest bird habitat in peninsular, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas. Since then much of the forest has been diverted to cultivation and teak and mahogany plantation but what survives gives a glimpse of the phenomenal bird diversity of the once widespread lowland forests of Kerala.

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