We identified biogeographical districts in the Páramo biogeographic province, in the north-western Andes of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, including the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia, above 3000 m ASL. We applied a parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE) to 8418 distributional data of 4644 vertebrate and angiosperm species, distributed in the north-western Andes and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Areas analysed were selected according to the hypotheses of several authors. We obtained a single most parsimonious cladogram, which shows 10 groups of areas (southern Ecuadorian, central Ecuadorian, northern Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, Los Picachos, Sierra Nevada, Santa Inés-Sonsón, Paramillo del Sinú, Cordillera Oriental and Quindío) and a single isolated area (Farallones de Cali). We propose that these areas conform 11 biogeographical districts. The biogeographical districts obtained adjust to the ‘cordilleran pattern’, where páramos of each cordillera are linked together. This study supports the hypothesis that during different glacial periods, páramos of these cordilleras were connected and, subsequently, separated during interglacial periods.
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Vol. 31 • No. 4