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Species and habitats

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Some water plants and animals from abroad can be harmful to our freshwater and marine environments.

The seas around Wales contain a rich variety of habitats and species, from seaweed-covered rocky reefs to deep muddy areas inhabited by burrowing animals.

There are also widely differing conditions, such as sheltered estuaries and fast-flowing tidal rapids. These create a range of different habitats from the seashore to the seabed and open water. These habitats provide shelter and food for a wide variety of species - from microscopic plankton to grey seals, cetaceans such as bottlenose dolphins and fin whales, and many species of seabirds.

In addition to native species, invasive non-native species also find their way into Welsh waters. We aim to prevent the introduction of new invasive non-native species and the spread of those already here. To help focus action on the marine invasive non-native species of most concern to Wales, we have developed a  Marine Invasive Non-native species: Priority monitoring and surveillance list for Wales .