In 1973, people realized that some animals would actually cease to exist if they didn't do something to protect them.
So, they passed the Endangered Species Act to do just that - "The United States has pledged itself as a sovereign state in the international community to conserve to the extent practicable the various species of fish or wildlife and plants facing extinction," the act goes.
But a groundbreaking new study shows that the process for helping the animals is so bogged down in delays and red tape that threatened animals are actually going extinct while they're waiting to be listed as endangered - this has happened to 42 species of animals and plants, to be exact.
The Virgin Islands screech owl waited five years, from 1975 until he went extinct in 1980. The Amak Island song sparrow waited eight years before succumbing to the same fate. The Valdina farms salamander waited 10 years. Now he's extinct.