During the colonial days, the High Range Game Preservation Association managed the area as a Game Preserve for the erstwhile Kannadevan Hills Produce Company.
The Muduvan tribals, known for theit tracking skills, were employed as game watchers. they are the original inhabitants of these hills.
The area was taken over in 1971 by the Kerala Government and declared as a Sanctuary in 1975. It was upgraded to a national park in 1978in recognition of it's unique ecological values.
The planter community and the Muduvans continue their association with the protection and management of the park.