This species of butterfly are among the most spectacular and are becoming increasingly economical and could be a part of a sustainable industry. This Action Plan states that these invertebrates face threats of extinction in many parts of the world and Jamaica is no exception.
The threat to the survival of this species has been recognized. In 1985, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) upgraded homerus from threatened to endangered. As a result of the above, homerus is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) since 1987 as well as in the Third Schedule of Jamaica's Wild Life Protection Act since 1988.
The homerus swallowtail is endemic to the island of Jamaica, where in the past it inhabited seven of the thirteen parishes. Today it is only found in two isolated areas - St. Thomas and Portland and; the Cockpit Country of Trelawny.
Threats to this species include: deforestation; parasitoids; predators and poaching.
Conservation and recovery measures outlined in the Action Plan include:
- Research - research into the ecology and conservation biology of Papilio homerus has been conducted and presented in two scientific papers which were used as references to this Action Plan.
- Habitat Protection -The island's first national park - the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park provides the framework for the management strategies to be implemented for the recovery of the homerus swallowtail.
- Legislation - International trade of this species is protected by CITES. Today (1993), Jamaica has a draft Bill on trade in endangered species.
- Public Education - A conservation campaign on Papilio homerus was implemented on March 1", 1994 by the JCDT. The campaign lasted for 1 year and was conducted in the County of Surrey and targeted 250,000. Some of the outputs of this campaign included: the design and production of posters; badges and bumper stickers of the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly, preparation of a fact sheet, preparation and analysis of a pre-project questionnaire.