Species diversity is normally considered to be one of the primary indicators of a healthy ecosystem. In Jamaica, wild endangered animals are protected under the Wild Life Protection Act (1945). Investigations conducted by the NRCA between 1993 to 1996 revealed that there has been a significant increase in the number of protected animals held in captivity over the years. Wildlife attractions linked to nature tourism are considered to be one of the contributing factors. The specific objectives of this policy are to:
- Regulate the conditions under which protected animals are held in captivity;
- Develop suitable measures to ensure that the already selected individuals/operations that are in existence may be exempted from the Wildlife Protection Act.
- Promote captive breeding of a species for commercial purposes (ecotourism attractions) by providing an economic alternative to domestic livestock production and to stimulate people to develop and interest in conservation work.