Periyar National Park is located at the heart of the Western Ghats, a mountain range that is older than the mighty Himalayas. The mountain chain of the Western Ghats is rich with geomorphic features of immense importance and unique biophysical and ecological processes. The elevation of this range influences the Indian monsoon weather pattern, moderating the tropical climate of the region. Studies find that the site presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system on the planet. The region also has an exceptionally high level of biodiversity and endemism and is recognised as one of the world’s eight “hotspots” of biological diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.