No Sabia Eso (I didn’t know that)

This is a space for little known bits and pieces of information about our adopted country and peninsula.  Your “No Sabia Eso” additions are most welcome. Email bajasisters@gmail.com when you run across something you’d like to add to this page.

Did You Know?

About the Mexican Peso

The Mexican Peso is commonly represented by its currency code (MXN) and in its symbol form ($). Did you know that Mexico actually used the $ symbol before the United States? However in some places you might see it referred to as MX$ or $100 MN (MN stands for Moneda Nacional, or National Currency) helping you to differentiate the peso with the dollars.

The Mexican Peso coin is made up of 100 Mexican cents; or centavos. The most popular banknotes are $50, $100 and $200, but rarer $20, $500 and $1,000 notes do exist. Coins are minted in 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavos, although those under 50 centavos are rarely seen now. You can also use $1, $2, $5 and $10 coins, which are quite handy when you are paying for the swap meet and smaller tips.

Did You Know?

El Diablo Lore

sanpedromartir-satview

sierra-san-pedro-martir

View of the San Felipe Desert and the Sea of Cortez from Picacho del Diablo

According to George Jackson from Pete’s Camp, El Diablo Peak (Picacho del Diablo) is actually two peaks. I’ve not been able to find verification of that information.  (If anyone can locate a verification, please let us know and indicate a source.) George also said that El Diablo used to be called “Old Whitey” by the gringos who lived in the area. That seems pretty reasonable since there are days when the white granite peak looks very white!

El Diablo is part of the San Pedro Martir mountain range (Sierra de San Pedro Martir). It stands 10,160 feet.  In 1794, Dominican friar, Jose Loriente established the San Pedro Martir de Verona Missionary in one of the valleys in the mountain range.  The name, San Pedro Martir, soon was adopted as the name for the mountain range.  In 1947, part of the mountain range was designated a Mexican National Park.  The National Astronomical Observatory was created on Cerro de la Cerpula (9,280 ft.) in 1971 and is the second largest in Latin America, and, considered one of the most modern observatories in the world. The area is home to big horn sheep, mule deer, puma, different varieties of fox, bats, and many more species of wild life.

Did You Know?

15th Weather Adage 

This one is specifically meant for Baja Sur, but, it could just as well apply to San Felipe!

(source: Baja Insider)

15th Weather Adage

The 15th of the month seems to be significant in forecasting Baja Sur Weather

Jan 15 – Winter begins
Feb 15 – Winter is over
Mar 15 – It starts to warm up
Apri 15 – It’s warm
May 15 – It starts to get hot
June 15 – It’s hot and the sun is straight overhead.
July 15 – Evening winds stop
Aug 15 – Humidity begins & temperatures peak
Sep 15 – Peak Hurricane season
Oct 15 – Humidity breaks
Nov 15 – Northers begin

Did You Know?

SF the Fish Taco Capital of the World

The fish taco was invented in San Felipe. It then experienced a boost in popularity north of the border when Mr. Ralph Rubio visited San Felipe in 1974, and was inspired by the humble fish taco. He returned to the States to start the Rubio’s Mexican restaurant chain, featuring the fish taco.

Did You Know?

Creosote Bush….

creosote bush

The creosote bush
Did  you know that a creosote bush can live up to two years without water?
–Thanks to Liz F for the information

Did You Know?

The Vaquita Porpoise….

…–which live in the waters off of the coast from San Felipe–has taken on the unfortunate title as the most endangered cetacean in the world? The Vaquita also has the distinction of being the smallest porpoise species. The vaquita  is critically endangered.

The vaquita is known to occur only in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico, mainly north of 30º45’N and west of 114º20’W (Gerrodette et al. 1995). The so-called “core area” consists of about 2,500 km² centred at Rocas Consag, some 40 km northeast of the town of San Felipe, Baja California. This core area straddles the southern boundary of the Upper Gulf of California and California River Delta Biosphere Reserve. There is no evidence to indicate that the vaquita’s overall range has changed in historic times. 

Vaquita Porpoise

Critically Endangered Species: Vaquita

Given what is known about fishing history in the northern Gulf of California and the vaquita?s vulnerability to entanglement in gillnets, it is reasonable to assume that the porpoise population has been declining since the 1940s when gillnet fisheries became widespread in the region. The best estimate of total population size is from 1997: 567 (95% CI: 177, 1,073) (Jaramillo-Legorreta et al. 1999). The estimated annual level of mortality in the early 1990s for one of the three main fishing communities, based on reports from onboard observers (Method 1) and those observer reports combined with information from interviews with fishermen (Method 2), was 84 (95% CI: 14, 155) (Method 1) or 39 (95% CI: 14, 93) (Method 2) (Rojas-Bracho and Taylor 1999, D?Agrosa et al. 2000). Using the 1997 abundance estimate, the range of bycatch estimates for a single community in the early 1990s, and plausible potential rates of population increase for phocoenids, Rojas-Bracho and Taylor (1999) estimated that the vaquita population was declining rapidly, possibly by as much as 15% per year. Using the lower of their plausible decline rates (0.05), the population size would be reduced by more than 80% over three generations (i.e., 30 years), including both the past and the future (Rojas-Bracho and Taylor 1999). The cause of the reduction (incidental mortality in fisheries) has not ceased and may even have increased over the last 10 years based on fishing effort (ca. 1,000 gillnet boats might operate in vaquita habitat each year; Rojas-Bracho et al. 2006).

Only approximately half of the “core area” of vaquita distribution falls within the Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve, which was created in 1993. Moreover, the nuclear zone of the Reserve, which is the only area where all fishing is prohibited, appears to be grossly mismatched with vaquita distribution as no sightings of vaquitas were made inside this zone during the two large-scale systematic surveys in the 1990s (Gerrodette et al. 1995, Jaramillo-Legorreta 1999).

An International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) was established in 1997 and has developed recommendations including: immediate prohibition of large-mesh gillnets throughout the species’ known range, followed in sequence by bans on medium- and small-mesh gillnets; exclusion of gillnets and trawls within an enlarged biosphere reserve; and improved enforcement of fishing regulations in the northern Gulf generally. Considerable attention has also been given to development of less harmful fishing methods, alternative income-generating activities for fishing communities, and community-based education and awareness (Rojas-Bracho et al. 2006).

On 29 December 2005 the Mexican Ministry of Environment declared a Vaquita Refuge that contains within its borders approximately 80% of all verified vaquita sighting positions. In the same decree, the State Governments of Sonora and Baja California were offered $(US)1 million to compensate affected fishermen. The results of this action cannot yet be evaluated.

Source: Red List at the following web site:    http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/summary/17028/0

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