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Cover Caption


Cover description: The clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris), shown here sheltering in a magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica), is one of the most recognizable and charismatic marine species since it was featured in the 2003 Disney movie Finding Nemo. Charisma can help the cause of conservation, as well-known species tend to have better conservation knowledge, funding, and legal protection. However, a study published in this issue of Conservation Letters shows that taxonomic biases even among charismatic species exist in both conservation knowledge and legal protection. Among species related to those in the movie Finding Nemo, 16% are at risk of extinction. Small species, like the anemonefish, have significantly less conservation knowledge than their large-bodied counterparts and species with high economic value, like sharks, have deficiencies in legal protection relative to their conservation need.

This photo was taken by Natascia Tamburello in October 2010 at about 35 feet depth a dive site called Halik, off of the island of Gili Trawangan in Indonesia, one of the few remaining relatively pristine reef ecosystems in the world.