Western South America: Central Ecuador into Colombia

This ecoregion occurs in elevational, mountaintop patches between treeline and the permanent snowline, from northern central Colombia, down the Andean Cordillera to Central Ecuador. This is an extensive ecoregion with a diversity of vegetation types within its parameters, however they all share the characteristic páramo vegetation; high alpine grasslands, bunchgrass, bogs, and open meadows. Although these areas have proven resilient to the influence of man, their capacities are being forced to their limit by burning, grazing, and farming.

  • Scientific Code
  • Ecoregion Category
  • Size
    11,600 square miles
  • Status
    Relatively Stable/Intact
  • Habitats


Location and General Description

Biodiversity Features

Current Status

Types and Severity of Threats

Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
This extensive páramo ecoregion extends along the high Andes through Ecuador and Colombia. Linework was derived from the UNESCO (1980) classification of "Andean caespintose herbaceous open community with or without woody plants (dry páramo)". Linework was later reviewed and modified by expert opinion at a priority setting workshop for ecoregion conservation (Bogota, Colombia, 24-26 July, 2000).

Complejo Ecoregional de los Andes del Norte (CEAN). Experts and ecoregional priority setting workshop. Bogota, Colombia, 24-26, July, 2000.

UNESCO. 1980. Vegetation map of South America. Map 1:5,000,000. Institut de la Carte Internationale de Tapis Vegetal. Toulouse, France.

Prepared by: Brad Klein
Reviewed by: In process