The federal government is one step away from moving in to protect dwindling caribou herds in Alberta and British Columbia after finding them under imminent threat.

The finding, released by Environment Canada on Friday covers 10 herds in the Southern Mountain population. They are all smaller than 100 animals and continue to decline. Seven are in British Columbia and the rest are all or partly in Alberta.

“Immediate intervention is required to allow for eventual recovery,” says a department document.

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