The dense forests of Muthanga and Tholpetty are two major wildlife sanctuaries at Wayanad. Although the two originally belong to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (sprawling over an area of 344.44 square kilometres) forming its two major divisions the human settlements have separated both and now they are being considered as two independent and prominent wildlife parks. The Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is located at about 16 km from Sulthan Bathery. The wildlife reserve which is now an essential part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was established in the year 1973.
The moist deciduous forests of Muthanga shelter a wide variety of wildlife including different species of birds. Some of the major animals found in the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary include the Hanuman Langur, panthers, Gaur, Sambar deer, Civet cat, wild dogs, jungle cats, bison, tigers and elephants. The rich varieties of avian species include peacocks, cuckoos, woodpeckers, jungle fowls, owls, babblers, etc. Having considering number of elephants, the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary was brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-1992 in order to protect these huge beasts from being slaughtered for their tusks. Hence, a large number of elephants can be found roaming amidst the forests in the sanctuary.
The forests of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary are blessed with a wide variety of flora which consists of moist deciduous forests and also patches of semi-evergreen forests. The major plant life that constitute the moist deciduous forests include the bamboo, venteak, rosewood, maruthi, mazhukaznjiram, vengal, etc. and the semi-evergreen forest patches of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary consists of lanceolata, lagerstroemia, veteria indica, termianaliapaniculata, etc.