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Improvement of the breeding results of pelicans Pelecanus spp in captivity is possible and much needed. A variety of factors must be considered. Group size and composition are two of the most obvious and, with good inter-zoo co-operation, easily alterable variables. The experiences of zoos for which data are provided here give some indication of other important considerations. Much research is still needed before all of the mysteries regarding the breeding of these birds are unravelled.