Date of this Version
The National Wildlife Research Center, formerly known as the Denver Wildlife Research Center (DWRC), collaborated with telecommunications and energy industries to evaluate cable resistance to pocket gopher damage for 29 years (1966 to 1995). Recently, DWRC's evaluation process was transferred to private contract laboratories. This review summarizes the chronology of key investigations and procedures that were used and first published on cable resistance to rodent damage. The longstanding cooperative goal of both DWRC scientists and industry engineers was the development of rodent-proof, buried cables and ducts. Even though most data collected were proprietary, extensive laboratory testing at DWRC provided data both for eliminating cables that demonstrated a high degree of vulnerability to pocket gopher damage and selecting candidate cables for field tests and further development. In the future, this area of wildlife drainage research will expand as new fiber-optic cables are subjected to the same scrutiny as their metallic predecessors.