That’s how the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums put it today when they released their climate change assessment in time for Copenhagen. Without a rapid return to 350, they said that zoos would be the only place left to seeeverything from polar bears to coral. 788 leaders of the world’s biggest zoos and aquariums signed the statement, which was sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

"From sea horses to golden-headed lion tamarins, zoos and aquariums play a crucial role in breeding endangered species for reintroduction into the wild. However, the climate change threat to the natural world is so severe that we’re rapidly losing suitable habitats for these species," says Paul Pearce-Kelly, Senior Curator at The Zoological Society of London and Chair of the WAZA Climate Change Task Force.

 "The urgent protection of ecosystems, which act as natural carbon sinks, is vital if humanity is to avoid the fate of runaway climate change. Our only hope is that world leaders respond to this reality and take the appropriate action," says WAZA President, Dr. Mark Penning

 He adds: "Climate change is not just another issue for the zoo and aquarium community to address, it is the chess board which will determine the outcome of all our conservation efforts."

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