COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Officials in British Columbia say helicopter gunners will shoot up to 24 wolves just north of the Idaho border in an effort to save a caribou herd from extinction. The Spokesman Review reports that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources announced the plan to save the southern Selkirk Mountains woodland caribou this week. The caribou are listed as endangered species in the U.S. and British Columbia. The caribou roam across the Canadian border into North Idaho and northeast Washington.

The herd has struggled from losses of old-growth habitat and other issues. Officials say the South Selkirk herd was 46 strong in 2009, but dropped to 27 in 2012. The latest survey puts the herd at 18. Officials say wolves are the leading cause of the decline.