About Eugene

Eugene Cheah is a wildlife photographer from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

He worked at the Kota Kinabalu Wetland before pursuing his true passion in wildlife photography, so he has the strong mind for conservation, not simply taking the photos. His focus is on capturing birds especially migratory birds, and most of his images are captured by Nikon camera system.

He has been contributing to the conservation of wildbird and wetland through providing photographs and holding photo exhibitions especially in Japan and the Republic of Korea highlighting his bird images around Asia. He works closely with the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP).

He also emphasises on uniqueness and charm of common birds that are important part of ecosystems in order to inspire citizens to pay attention and enjoy their surrounding environment. He is a member of the Wetland Guide Chiba. Some of his featured photographs can be found here.


  • While starting his early career in electronic background, he cherished the nature in Borneo where he grew up by exploring in forests and fishing at nearby wetlands. Thus he started next career as a tour coordinator at the Borneo Wildlife Adventure to interpret the beauty of Borneo to foreign visitors with his Tourist Guide Licenses obtained through the Malaysia Tourist Guide Course and the Cave Interpretation Course by the Sabah Tourist Guide Association. His accommodation skill was very much appreciated with the certificates on hospitality by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism Malaysia and the Malaysia Host Training organised by the American Express.
  • Then he started conservation work at the WWF-Malaysia under the Likas Wetland Center (later the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary, KKCBS) project as a Research Assistant, and enormously contributed in the recovery of the sanctuary’s degraded mangrove, which resulted to its Ramsar designation in 2016. He has led the sanctuary’s mangrove restoration projects with his detailed observation skill, and improved the reproduction method to the level many students and private sector can join the replanting activities in and beyond the sanctuary. He started photography for the center’s education materials including its website. He put his all experiences in the KKCBS into the Ramsar Site Information Sheet for the designation process, and the area was later designated as Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site.
  • Later he worked as a Technician/Resident Naturalist and an Honourary Warden designated by the Sabah Wildlife Department and continued at then-called the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Center under the Sabah Wetland Conservation Society’s administration. Many of his photos are used on the site’s website, articles, and in the exhibition at the board walk which he used to maintain.
  • In 2013, he decided to concentrate his efforts on photography to share the wonder and beauty of the birds and wetlands with wider audience. He has been working keen in involving photographers and bird guides in Sabah in Asian Waterbird Census to strengthen the waterbird monitoring in Sabah for immediate and future conservation. He has been working with many international organisations and NGOs including the East-Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership and the Wetland International, and has provided his photographs to local authorities and national governments for their websites and brochures.

Key contributions to published books, magazines, articles, and CEPA activities etc.

Other experiences

  • In 1996, he participated in the Surgical Eye Expeditions of the Raleigh International Expedition as a Venturer for three months in 1996. Each venturer had four projects to complete, mainly scientific, community and adventure.
  • In 2007, he participated in the JENESYS Programme, which mainly included invitations to the youth of ASEAN members to visit Japan, which was an initiative of the then Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe, at the 10th ASEAN-Japan Summit and the 2nd East Asia Summit in January 2007, that the Government of Japan would implement a youth exchange project which involves approximately 6,000 youths.
  • He has also participated in many international conferences including the COP of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Convention on the Migratory Species, and the regional meetings of the Ramsar Convention, IUCN, Wetland International, Ramsar Regional Centre-East Asia, and Wetland Link International.

Works and contribution to the education on wetlands and beyond:  2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019 / 2020 / 2021 / 2022 / 2023

Flickr: Bornean Birds
Facebook: echeah37
Instagram: eugene_cheah_ewejin