Greetings from a new member of this amazing website!
My husband and I have engaged in a harsh argument about the use of the word "extinct". Let me elaborate: Literally, "extinct", according to all the dictionaries I have been visiting, means "no longer in existence". Idiomatically, though, I was taught and have always maintained that it could also mean "in danger of becoming extinct", meaning, not totally out of existence yet, soon though, unless measures are taken to prevent it.
If I, for example, say that "it has been declared that those certain spotted frogs in our area should be protected because they are extinct", my husband winks and replies "how can you protect something which is extinct?" My argument has been that "extinct" might as well be used to signify the threat of a species becoming extinct, rather than it having ceased to exist already.