Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary (PCWBS), with an area of 24.17 sq kms was created on June 13, 1967. The sanctuary includes the cape and its three natural habitat types: dry evergreen forests, mangrove forests, and wetlands. In 1988, the sanctuary was enlarged to include the Great Vedaranyam Swamp and the Talaignayar Reserve Forest, and renamed the Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, with a total area of 377 sq kms. Point Calimere homes the endangered endemic Indian Blackbuck and is one of the few known wintering locations of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. It also holds large wintering populations of Greater Flamingos in India.
This site is a mix of salt swamps, Mangroves, backwaters, mudflats, grasslands and Tropical dry evergreen forests. 364 of flowering plant species have been identified in the sanctuary of which 50% are herbs and the others are climbers, shrubs and trees. About 198 of these have medicinal properties. Manilkara hexandra, locally called Palai is the dominant dry evergreen species and an important food source for fruit eating birds. Middle canopy is dominated by the invasive prosopid juliflora and the most abundant undergrowth is Memecylon umbellatum.
Point Calimere is also associated with the mythological Hindu epic, The Ramayana. The highest point of the cape, at an elevation of 4 m, is Ramarpatham, "Rama’s feet" in Tamil. A stone slab bears the impressions of two feet and is understood to be the place where Rama stood and reconnoitered Ravana’s kingdom in Sri Lanka, which lies 48 km. to the south.